Long-read sequencing of 3,622 Icelanders provides insight into the role of structural variants in human diseases and other traitsPublication
Date: 10th May 2021 | Source: Nature genetics
Long-read sequencing (LRS) promises to improve characterization of structural variants (SVs), a major source of genetic diversity. We generated LRS data on 3,622 Icelanders using Oxford Nanopore Technologies, and identified a median of 22,636 SVs per individual (a median of 13,353 insertions and 9,474 deletions), spanning a median of 10 Mb per haploid genome.
We discovered a set of 133,886 reliably genotyped SV alleles and imputed them into 166,281 individuals to explore their effects on diseases and other traits. We discovered an association with a rare (AF = 0.037%) deletion of the first exon of PCSK9. Carriers of this deletion have 0.93 mmol/L (1.31 SD) lower LDL cholesterol levels than the population average (p-value = 7.0·10−20). We also discovered an association with a multi-allelic SV inside a large repeat region, contained within single long reads, in an exon of ACAN. Within this repeat region we found 11 alleles that differ in the number of a 57 bp-motif repeat, and observed a linear relationship (0.016 SD per motif inserted, p = 6.2·10−18) between the number of repeats carried and height.
These results show that SVs can be accurately characterized at population scale using long read sequence data in a genome-wide non-targeted approach and demonstrate how SVs impact phenotypes.