Structural variation accounts for much of the variation among human genomes. Structural variants of all types are known to cause Mendelian disease and contribute to complex disease. Learn how long-read sequencing is enabling detection of the full spectrum of structural variants to advance the study of human disease, evolution and genetic diversity.
Explore the types of human genomic variation and the diseases known to be caused by structural variants.
To bring personalized medicine to all patients, cancer researchers need more reliable and comprehensive views of somatic variants of all sizes that drive cancer biology.
Application brochure — Scalable human whole genome HiFi sequencing for rare and inherited disease research
PacBio highly accurate long reads – HiFi reads – offer a single-platform solution for rare and inherited disease research, elucidating suspected genetic causes of disease in up to ~50% of cases that have not previously been explained using short-read exome or whole genome sequencing. PacBio offers an efficient workflow, developed in collaboration with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, which provides a scalable solution for sequencing 100s to 1000s of whole human genomes per year on the Sequel II and Sequel IIe Systems.
Learn how PacBio highly accurate long reads enable an improved approach to whole genome sequencing to understand the genetic origins of rare diseases.
With highly accurate long reads (HiFi reads) from the Sequel II or IIe Systems you can comprehensively detect variants in 100s to 1000s of genomes in a year. HiFi reads provide high precision and recall for single nucleotide variants (SNVs), indels, structural variants (SVs), and copy number variants (CNVs), including in difficult-to-map repetitive regions.
Structural Variants (SVs), which include deletions, insertions, duplications, inversions and chromosomal rearrangements, have been shown to effect organism phenotypes, including changing gene expression, increasing disease risk, and playing an important role in cancer development. Still it remains challenging to detect all types of SVs from high throughput sequencing data and it is even harder to detect more complex SVs such as a duplication nested within an inversion. To overcome these challenges we developed algorithms for SV analysis using longer third generation sequencing reads. The increased read lengths allow us to span more complex SVs and accurately assess SVs in repetitive regions, two of the major limitations when using short Illumina data. Our enhanced open-source analysis method Sniffles accurately detects structural variants based on split read mapping and assessment of the alignments. Sniffles uses a self-balancing interval tree in combination with a plane sweep algorithm to manage and assess the identified SVs. Central to its high accuracy is its advanced scoring model that can distinguish erroneous alignments from true breakpoints flanking SVs. In experiments with simulated and real genomes (e.g human breast cancer), we find that Sniffles outperforms all other SV analysis approaches in both the sensitivity of finding events as well as the specificity of those events. Sniffles is available at: https://github.com/fritzsedlazeck/Sniffles
Most of the base pairs that differ between two human genomes are in intermediate-sized structural variants (50 bp to 5 kb), which are too small to detect with array comparative genomic hybridization or optical mapping but too large to reliably discover with short-read DNA sequencing. Long-read sequencing with PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing platforms fills this technology gap. PacBio SMRT Sequencing detects tens of thousands of structural variants in a human genome with approximately five times the sensitivity of short-read DNA sequencing. Effective application of PacBio SMRT Sequencing to detect structural variants requires quality bioinformatics tools that account for the characteristics of PacBio reads. To provide such a solution, we developed pbsv, a structural variant caller for PacBio reads that works as a chain of simple stages: 1) map reads to the reference genome, 2) identify reads with signatures of structural variation, 3) cluster nearby reads with similar signatures, 4) summarize each cluster into a consensus variant, and 5) filter for variants with sufficient read support. To evaluate the baseline performance of pbsv, we generated high coverage of a diploid human genome on the PacBio Sequel System, established a target set of structural variants, and then titrated to lower coverage levels. The false discovery rate for pbsv is low at all coverage levels. Sensitivity is high even at modest coverage: above 85% at 10-fold coverage and above 95% at 20-fold coverage. To assess the potential for PacBio SMRT Sequencing to identify pathogenic variants, we evaluated an individual with clinical symptoms suggestive of Carney complex for whom short-read whole genome sequencing was uninformative. The individual was sequenced to 9-fold coverage on the PacBio Sequel System, and structural variants were called with pbsv. Filtering for rare, genic structural variants left six candidates, including a heterozygous 2,184 bp deletion that removes the first coding exon of PRKAR1A. Null mutations in PRKAR1Acause autosomal dominant Carney complex, type 1. The variant was determined to be de novo, and it was classified as likely pathogenic based on ACMG standards and guidelines for variant interpretation. These case studies demonstrate the ability of pbsv to detect structural variants in low-coverage PacBio SMRT Sequencing and suggest the importance of considering structural variants in any study of human genetic variation.
Structural variants (genomic differences =50 base pairs) contribute to the evolution of traits and disease. Most structural variants (SVs) are too small to detect with array comparative genomic hybridization and too large to reliably discover with short-read DNA sequencing.
Structural variants (SVs) – genomic differences =50 base pairs – are few by count compared to single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and indels but include most of the base pairs that differ between two humans.
Fritz Sedlazeck, a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University, describes his structural variant detection tool Sniffles in this poster from AGBT 2016. Included: examples of structural variants that could not be…
Most of the basepairs that differ between two human genomes are in intermediate-sized structural variants (50 bp to 5 kb), which are too small to detect with array CGH but…
In this ASHG 2017 presentation, Han Brunner of Radboud University Medical Center presented research using SMRT Sequencing to detect structural variants to uncover the genetic causes of intellectual disability. He…
In this ASHG 2017 presentation, Jonas Korlach, the CSO of PacBio shared updates on three applications featuring SMRT Sequencing on the Sequel System, highlighting structural variant detection, targeted sequencing and…
In this presentation Fritz Sedlazeck describes his latest work to obtain comprehensive genomes leveraging long-read sequencing and linked reads.