Working With VCF Files Guide

Import data from the “1000 Genome Project”

The data used in this guide is from the “1000 Genome Project”. For more information, visit IGSR.

Begin by making a new directory, in which you can download and create files:

mkdir 1KGP

Navigate to it:

cd 1KGP

Download the data:


The three downloaded files are:

  • ALL.chr1.phase3_shapeit2_mvncall_integrated_v5a.20130502.genotypes.vcf.gz - contains the variants data of the individuals

  • ALL.chr1.phase3_shapeit2_mvncall_integrated_v5_related_samples.20130502.genotypes.vcf.gz - contains the variants data of the related individuals

  • 20130606_sample_info.xlsx - contains information about all the examined individuals

Creating the pedigree file

Information about the individual’s relationships within their family can be found in the spreadsheet file 20130606_sample_info.xlsx, in the ‘Sample Info’ tab. Let’s create a pedigree file for the family with id “PR05”. For more information on working with pedigree files, refer to the Working With Pedigrees Guide.

First, create the pedigree file:

touch PR05.ped

Then open it in a text editor and add the necessary columns - familyId, personId, momId, dadId, sex, status and role. Fill in the individuals and the values in each column, by referring to the spreadshee’s information. After the editing, the pedigree file should look like this:

familyId    personId        momId   dadId   sex     status  role
PR05        HG00731 0       0       M       unspecified     dad
PR05        HG00732 0       0       F       unspecified     mom
PR05        HG00733 HG00732 HG00731 M       unspecified     prb


The columns should be separated by tabs, not spaces.

Next, you have to standardize the pedigree file, using the tool: PR05.ped -o PR05_standardized.ped --ped-layout-mode generate

This command will generate a new pedigree file - PR05_standardized.ped with two newly added columns - sampleId and layout, which will be used by the GPF system. Now the pedigree file is ready for importing.

Creating the VCF files

To extract the variant data for the individuals HG00731, HG00732 and HG00733 in a separate files, we will use Bcftools.

Let’s start with individual HG00733, whose data is in the ALL.chr1.phase3_shapeit2_mvncall_integrated_v5_related_samples.20130502.genotypes.vcf.gz file. Using bcftools’ view --samples argument, we can get the data for a specific individual. Adding > HG00733.vcf in the end of the command will redirect the command’s result into a new file, named HG00733.vcf:

bcftools view \
--samples HG00733 \
ALL.chr1.phase3_shapeit2_mvncall_integrated_v5_related_samples.20130502.genotypes.vcf.gz \
> HG00733.vcf

The data for individuals HG00731 and HG00732 is in the second vcf file - ALL.chr1.phase3_shapeit2_mvncall_integrated_v5a.20130502.genotypes.vcf.gz.

To extract the variants data for the other two individuals in a file named HG00731_HG00732.vcf, run:

bcftools view \
--samples HG00731,HG00732 \
ALL.chr1.phase3_shapeit2_mvncall_integrated_v5a.20130502.genotypes.vcf.gz \
> HG00731_HG00732.vcf

Importing the data into GPF

To import the collected data into the GPF system, it’s recommended to use the tool. To do so, run: PR05.ped \
--vcf-files HG00731_HG00732.vcf HG00733.vcf \
--gs genotype_impala \
--id 1KGP \
-o parquet


To see a list of it’s commands, use: --help

Navigate to the newly created parquet directory:

cd parquet

and run this command to initiate the importing:

make -j 10

This command will take some time to complete.

Afer it’s done, run the GPF web server: runserver

Now you should be able to see the “1KGP” dataset. To view the imported variants, navigate to the Genotype Browser tab and click on the Table Preview button.