Assessment of low-coverage nanopore long read sequencing for SNP genotyping in doubled haploid canola (Brassica napus L.)

Despite the high accuracy of short read sequencing (SRS), there are still issues with attaining accurate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes at low sequencing coverage and in highly duplicated genomes due to misalignment. Long read sequencing (LRS) systems, including the Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) MinION, have become popular options for de novo genome assembly and structural variant characterisation. The current high error rate often requires substantial post-sequencing correction and would appear to prevent the adoption of this system for SNP genotyping, but nanopore sequencing errors are largely random. Using low coverage ONT MinION sequencing for genotyping of pre-validated SNP loci was examined in 9 canola doubled haploids. The MinION genotypes were compared to the Illumina sequences to determine the extent and nature of genotype discrepancies between the two systems. The significant increase in read length improved alignment to the genome and the absence of classical SRS biases results in a more even representation of the genome. Sequencing errors are present, primarily in the form of heterozygous genotypes, which can be removed in completely homozygous backgrounds but requires more advanced bioinformatics in heterozygous genomes. Developments in this technology are promising for routine genotyping in the future.

Authors: M. M. Malmberg, G. C. Spangenberg, H. D. Daetwyler, N. O. I. Cogan