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10x Genomics
Chromium Single Cell Gene Expression

Glossary of Terms

Entries are ordered alphabetically. These definitions may be specific to the usage of these terms in the context of Feature Barcode Technology.

Single Cell RNA-seq

GEM well (or GEM group): A set of partitioned cells (Gelbeads-in-Emulsion) from a single 10x Chromium™ Chip channel. One or more sequencing libraries can be derived from a GEM well.

Library (or Sequencing Library): A 10x-barcoded sequencing library prepared from a single GEM well. With Feature Barcode or V(D)J assays, it is possible to create multiple libraries from the same GEM well. The library types may include Gene Expression, Antibody Capture, CRISPR guide capture, TCR-enrichment, etc.

Sample: A cell suspension extracted from a single biological source (blood, tissue, etc).

Sequencing Run (or Flowcell): A flowcell containing data from one sequencing instrument run. The sequencing data can be further demultiplexed by lane or by sample indices.

Feature Barcode Technology

Feature Barcode Antibody (or Antibody): Refers to a Feature Barcode reagent consisting of an antibody with high affinity to a known Cell Surface Protein coupled to a Feature Barcode oligonucleotide that identifies the antibody. These reagents are used to quantify the expression of cell surface proteins. For example, the TotalSeq™-B product line is a family of Feature Barcode antibodies that are compatible with the Single Cell 3' v3 solution.

Cell Surface Protein: a protein that is localized to the cell membrane, typically containing extracellular domains. These proteins can be quantified with Barcoded Antibodies.

CRISPRa (or CRISPR activation): Similar to CRISPRi, but uses a Cas9 fused to an activating domain to promote expression of target gene instead of repressing it.


CRISPRi (or CRISPR Interference): A method for measuring the impact of perturbations to gene expression levels. sgRNAs with protospacers targeting a gene of interest are used with a non-cutting Cas9 that is fused to a repressive domain. This represses the expression of the selected gene.

Count Matrix (or Feature-Barcode Matrix): Formerly known as the Gene-Barcode Matrix. A matrix of counts representing the number of unique observations of each feature within each cell barcode. Genes defined by the transcriptome reference and Feature Barcodes defined in the Feature Reference appear as rows in the matrix. Each barcode is a column of the matrix.

CROP-Seq: An assay scheme for pooled CRISPRi and CRISPRa experiments with single-cell Gene Expression readout. See Datlinger et al., Nature Methods 2017

Dextramer: Refers to a Feature Barcode reagent consisting of multiple copies of a peptide-MHC (p-MHC) complex conjugated to a Dextran backbone, coupled to a DNA oligonucleotide carrying a Feature Barcode that identifies the peptide-MHC complex. The p-MHC complex is the antigen of a T-Cell Receptor. Dextramers compatible with 10x Genomics Feature Barcode Technology are supplied by Immudex.

Feature: A unique type of countable molecule. Can refer to a gene, an barcoded antibody, a CRISPR Guide RNA or another barcoded reagent. Each feature is either a gene declared in the transcriptome reference or a feature barcode declared in the feature reference file. Corresponds to a row in the Count Matrix.

Feature Barcode: The subsequence of a Feature Barcode read that uniquely identifies the identity of the Feature Barcode reagent.

Feature Reference: A CSV file declaring the name, read layout, and barcode sequence of the all the Feature Barcode reagents in use in an experiment. A Feature Reference CSV must be provided to cellranger count when using Feature Barcode Technology. See the Feature Reference Documentation for details.

Guide RNA (or sgRNA, or Single Guide RNA): The Guide RNA, along with a Cas9 enzyme form the CRISPR system. The protospacer region of the Guide RNA recognizes a particular sequence in the genome.

p-MHC (or Peptide-MHC): An antigen-presenting MHC gene, bound to a displayed peptide. These complexes are recognized by T-Cell receptors in the adaptive immune system. Dextramers are Feature Barcode capable p-MHC reagent technology.

Perturb-Seq: The original demonstration of a pooled CRISPRi assay with a single-cell Gene Expression readout, using barcodes to identify which CRISPRi perturbations were present in each cell. See Dixit et al., Cell 2016.

Targeted Gene Expression

Target Panel CSV file: A CSV file declaring the target gene panel used for a Targeted Gene Expression experiment, which specifies detailed information about the targeted genes and baits included in the panel. This file must be provided to cellranger count via the --target-panel option when analyzing Targeted Gene Expression data. Details and specifications of the Target Panel CSV file format are documented here.

Baits: A set of oligonucleotide sequences designed to specifically hybridize to and recover molecules from targeted genes during the hybridization-capture enrichment step of the Targeted Gene Expression assay.

WTA (or Whole Transcriptome Analysis): Whole Transcriptome Analysis, describes a (non-targeted) Chromium single-cell RNA-seq library or dataset which may be used as input for a Targeted Gene Expression experiment.

Parent: A WTA single-cell gene expression library or dataset that was used as the input material for a Targeted Gene Expression experiment. Because the Parent and its corresponding Targeted dataset are both derived from the same Library and/or GEM well, it is possible to directly compare results from these matched datasets in a pairwise manner, as enabled by cellranger targeted-compare.