BUS format is a file format for single-cell RNA-seq data designed to facilitate the development of modular workflows for data processing. It consists of a binary representation of barcode and UMI sequences from scRNA-seq reads, along with sets of equivalence classes obtained by pseudoalignment of reads to a reference transcriptome (hence the acronym Barcode, UMI, Set). BUS files are a convenient and useful checkpoint during single-cell RNA-seq processing. The format is described in detail in the BUStools BUS format repository and in the preprint

P. Melsted, V. Ntranos and L. Pachter, The Barcode, UMI, Set format and BUStools, Bioinformatics, btz279, 2019.

We have implemented a new feature in kallisto that can be used to generate BUS format files from a variety of different single-cell RNA-seq technologies. Once BUS files have been produced, they can be manipulated with bustools. The bustools programs can be used to rapidly obtain TCC and gene count matrices using the kallisto | bustools workflow.