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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Critical points for an accurate human genome analysis.

Next-generation sequencing is radically changing how DNA diagnostic laboratories operate. What started as a single-gene profession is now developing into gene panel sequencing and whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing (WES/WGS) analyses. With further advances in sequencing technology and concomitant price reductions, WGS will soon become the standard and be routinely offered. Here, we focus on the critical steps involved in performing WGS, with a particular emphasis on points where WGS differs from WES, the important variables that should be taken into account, and the quality control measures that can be taken to monitor the process. The points discussed here, combined with…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Automated structural variant verification in human genomesw using single-molecule electronic DNA mapping.

The importance of structural variation in human disease and the difficulty of detecting structural variants larger than 50 base pairs has led to the development of several long-read sequencing technologies and optical mapping platforms. Frequently, multiple technologies and ad hoc methods are required to obtain a consensus regarding the location, size and nature of a structural variant, with no approach able to reliably bridge the gap of variant sizes between the domain of short-read approaches and the largest rearrangements observed with optical mapping. To address this unmet need, we have developed a new software package, SV-VerifyTM, which utilizes data collected…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Resolving multicopy duplications de novo using polyploid phasing

While the rise of single-molecule sequencing systems has enabled an unprecedented rise in the ability to assemble complex regions of the genome, long segmental duplications in the genome still remain a challenging frontier in assembly. Segmental duplications are at the same time both gene rich and prone to large structural rearrangements, making the resolution of their sequences important in medical and evolutionary studies. Duplicated sequences that are collapsed in mammalian de novo assemblies are rarely identical; after a sequence is duplicated, it begins to acquire paralog-specific variants. In this paper, we study the problem of resolving the variations in multicopy,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

XCAVATOR: accurate detection and genotyping of copy number variants from second and third generation whole-genome sequencing experiments.

We developed a novel software package, XCAVATOR, for the identification of genomic regions involved in copy number variants/alterations (CNVs/CNAs) from short and long reads whole-genome sequencing experiments.By using simulated and real datasets we showed that our tool, based on read count approach, is capable to predict the boundaries and the absolute number of DNA copies CNVs/CNAs with high resolutions. To demonstrate the power of our software we applied it to the analysis Illumina and Pacific Bioscencies data and we compared its performance to other ten state of the art tools.All the analyses we performed demonstrate that XCAVATOR is capable to…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

SVachra: a tool to identify genomic structural variation in mate pair sequencing data containing inward and outward facing reads.

Characterization of genomic structural variation (SV) is essential to expanding the research and clinical applications of genome sequencing. Reliance upon short DNA fragment paired end sequencing has yielded a wealth of single nucleotide variants and internal sequencing read insertions-deletions, at the cost of limited SV detection. Multi-kilobase DNA fragment mate pair sequencing has supplemented the void in SV detection, but introduced new analytic challenges requiring SV detection tools specifically designed for mate pair sequencing data. Here, we introduce SVachra – Structural Variation Assessment of CHRomosomal Aberrations, a breakpoint calling program that identifies large insertions-deletions, inversions, inter- and intra-chromosomal translocations utilizing…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Mobile Element Locator Tool (MELT): population-scale mobile element discovery and biology.

Mobile element insertions (MEIs) represent ~25% of all structural variants in human genomes. Moreover, when they disrupt genes, MEIs can influence human traits and diseases. Therefore, MEIs should be fully discovered along with other forms of genetic variation in whole genome sequencing (WGS) projects involving population genetics, human diseases, and clinical genomics. Here, we describe the Mobile Element Locator Tool (MELT), which was developed as part of the 1000 Genomes Project to perform MEI discovery on a population scale. Using both Illumina WGS data and simulations, we demonstrate that MELT outperforms existing MEI discovery tools in terms of speed, scalability,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Structural variation offers new home for disease associations and gene discovery

Following completion of the Human Genome Project, most studies of human genetic variation have centered on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are numerous in individual genomes and serve as useful genetic markers in association studies across a population. These markers have been leveraged to identify genetic loci for disease risk and draw associations with numerous traits of interest. Despite their usefulness, SNPs do not tell the whole story. For example, most SNPs are associated with only a small increased risk of disease, and they usually cannot identify on their own which genes are causal. This has resulted in what many…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Lightning-fast genome variant detection with GROM.

Current human whole genome sequencing projects produce massive amounts of data, often creating significant computational challenges. Different approaches have been developed for each type of genome variant and method of its detection, necessitating users to run multiple algorithms to find variants.We present GROM (Genome Rearrangement OmniMapper), a novel comprehensive variant detection algorithm accepting aligned read files as input and finding SNVs, indels, structural variants (SVs), and copy number variants (CNVs). We show that GROM outperforms state-of-the-art methods on seven validated benchmarks using two whole genome sequencing (WGS) datasets. Additionally, GROM boasts lightning fast run times, analyzing a 50x WGS human…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

GRIDSS: sensitive and specific genomic rearrangement detection using positional de Bruijn graph assembly.

The identification of genomic rearrangements with high sensitivity and specificity using massively parallel sequencing remains a major challenge, particularly in precision medicine and cancer research. Here, we describe a new method for detecting rearrangements, GRIDSS (Genome Rearrangement IDentification Software Suite). GRIDSS is a multithreaded structural variant (SV) caller that performs efficient genome-wide break-end assembly prior to variant calling using a novel positional de Bruijn graph-based assembler. By combining assembly, split read, and read pair evidence using a probabilistic scoring, GRIDSS achieves high sensitivity and specificity on simulated, cell line, and patient tumor data, recently winning SV subchallenge #5 of the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Variant review with the Integrative Genomics Viewer.

Manual review of aligned reads for confirmation and interpretation of variant calls is an important step in many variant calling pipelines for next-generation sequencing (NGS) data. Visual inspection can greatly increase the confidence in calls, reduce the risk of false positives, and help characterize complex events. The Integrative Genomics Viewer (IGV) was one of the first tools to provide NGS data visualization, and it currently provides a rich set of tools for inspection, validation, and interpretation of NGS datasets, as well as other types of genomic data. Here, we present a short overview of IGV’s variant review features for both…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Tools for annotation and comparison of structural variation.

The impact of structural variants (SVs) on a variety of organisms and diseases like cancer has become increasingly evident. Methods for SV detection when studying genomic differences across cells, individuals or populations are being actively developed. Currently, just a few methods are available to compare different SVs callsets, and no specialized methods are available to annotate SVs that account for the unique characteristics of these variant types. Here, we introduce SURVIVOR_ant, a tool that compares types and breakpoints for candidate SVs from different callsets and enables fast comparison of SVs to genomic features such as genes and repetitive regions, as…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hunting structural variants: Population by population

Until recently, most population-scale genome sequencing studies have focused on identifying single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to explore genetic differences between individuals. Like so many SNV-based genome-wide association studies, however, these efforts have had difficulty identifying causative genetic mechanisms underlying most complex functions. More and more, the genomics community has realised that structural variation is likely responsible for many of the traits and phenotypes that scientists have not been able to attribute to SNVs. This class of variants, defined as genetic differences of 50 bp or larger, accounts for most of the DNA sequence differences between any two people. Structural variants…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Detection of complex structural variation from paired-end sequencing data

Detecting structural variants (SVs) from sequencing data is a key problem in genome analysis, but the full diversity of SVs is not captured by most methods. We introduce the Automated Reconstruction of Complex Structural Variants (ARC-SV) method, which detects a broad class of structural variants from paired-end whole genome sequencing (WGS) data. Analysis of samples from NA12878 and HuRef suggests that complex SVs are often misclassified by traditional methods. We validated our results both experimentally and by comparison to whole genome assembly and PacBio data; ARC-SV compares favorably to existing algorithms in general and gives state-of-the-art results on complex SV…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Contributions of Zea mays subspecies mexicana haplotypes to modern maize.

Maize was domesticated from lowland teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis), but the contribution of highland teosinte (Zea mays ssp. mexicana, hereafter mexicana) to modern maize is not clear. Here, two genomes for Mo17 (a modern maize inbred) and mexicana are assembled using a meta-assembly strategy after sequencing of 10 lines derived from a maize-teosinte cross. Comparative analyses reveal a high level of diversity between Mo17, B73, and mexicana, including three Mb-size structural rearrangements. The maize spontaneous mutation rate is estimated to be 2.17?×?10-8 ~3.87?×?10-8 per site per generation with a nonrandom distribution across the genome. A higher deleterious mutation rate…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hidden genetic variation shapes the structure of functional elements in Drosophila.

Mutations that add, subtract, rearrange, or otherwise refashion genome structure often affect phenotypes, although the fragmented nature of most contemporary assemblies obscures them. To discover such mutations, we assembled the first new reference-quality genome of Drosophila melanogaster since its initial sequencing. By comparing this new genome to the existing D. melanogaster assembly, we created a structural variant map of unprecedented resolution and identified extensive genetic variation that has remained hidden until now. Many of these variants constitute candidates underlying phenotypic variation, including tandem duplications and a transposable element insertion that amplifies the expression of detoxification-related genes associated with nicotine resistance.…

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