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ASHG PacBio Workshop: Medical diagnostic challenges and structural variation detection using the PacBio Platform

Richard Gibbs, Director of Baylor College of Medicine’s Human Genome Sequencing Center, talked about the transition to genomic medicine. This hasn’t been as simple as people would like due to such issues as the incomplete reference genome, the difficulty in characterizing some variation, and the lack of knowledge about the function of some genes. At Baylor, most of the human genome sequencing is done for children with Mendelian disorders. He said that among 7,000 samples processed using short-read exome sequencing, only about 25% of these cases are solved. The relatively low diagnosis rate is likely due to structural variation and other regions not captured by short reads. He discussed some ways to get to structural variation including PacBio sequencing and PBJelly and Parliament analysis routines, using as little as 10-fold PacBio coverage. Using these methods they are closing gaps in the genomes of various species, for example – he noted that in the sheep genome they have closed 70% of gaps with PacBio reads. He also mentioned the use of PBHoney to identify inconsistencies between reads and the reference, and that long-range capture strategies using a combination of Nimblegen and PacBio are ‘going beautifully so far.’

 

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