The DeepBlue Epigenomic Data Server is an online application that allows researchers to access data from various epigenomic mapping consortia such as DEEP, BLUEPRINT, ENCODE, or ROADMAP. DeepBlue can be accessed through a web interface or programmatically via its API. The usage of the API is documented with examples, use cases, and a user manual. While the description of the API is language agnostic, the examples and use cases shown online are focused on the python language. However, the R package presented here also enables access to the DeepBlue API directly within the R statistical environment and provides convenient functionality for triggering operations on the DeepBlue server as well as for data retrievel using R functions. In the following, we give a brief introduction to the package and subsequently show how python examples from the online documentation can be reproduced with it.

What is DeepBlue ?

A wealth of epigenomic data has been collected over the past decade by large epigenomic mapping consortia. Event though most of these data are publicly available, the task of identifiying, downloading and processing data from various experiments is challenging. Recognizing that these tedious steps need to be tackled programmatically, we developed the DeepBlue epigenomic data server. Epigenome data from the different epigenome mapping consortia are accessible with standardized metadata. An experiment is the most important entity in DeepBlue and typically encompasses a single file (usually a bed or wig file) with a set of mandatory metadata: name, genome assembly, epigenetic mark, biosource, sample, technique, and project. For the sake of organization, all metadata fields are part of controlled vocabularies, some of which are imported from ontologies (CL, EFO, and UBERON, to name a few). DeepBlue also contains annotations, i.e. auxiliary data that is helpful in epigenomic analysis, such as, for example, CpG Islands, promoter regions, and genes. DeepBlue provides different types of commands, such as listing and searching commands as well as commands for data retrieval. A typical work-flow for the latter is to select, filter, transform, and finally download the selected data. For a more thorough description of DeepBlue we refer to the DeepBlue publication in the 2016 NAR webserver issue. If you find DeepBlue useful and use it in your project consider citing this paper.

Important note: With the exception of data aggregation tasks, DeepBlue does not alter the imported data, i.e. it remains exactly as provided by the epigenome mapping consortia.

Getting started


Installation of DeepBlueR and its companion packages can be performed using the Bioconductor installer: