Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New methods identify thousands of new DNA sequences missing from the human genome reference map

21.04.2010
Findings suggest that new genome assemblies based solely on next-generation sequencing might miss many of these sites

Researchers have discovered 2,363 new DNA sequences corresponding to 730 regions on the human genome by using new approaches. These sequences represent segments of the genome that were not charted in the reference map of the human genome.

"A large portion of those sequences are either missing, fragmented or misaligned when compared to results from next-generation sequencing genome assemblies on the same samples," said Dr. Evan Eichler, senior author on the findings published April 19 in the advanced online edition of Nature Methods. Eichler is a University of Washington (UW) professor of genome sciences and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "These findings suggest that new genome assemblies based solely on next-generation sequencing might miss many of these sites."

Dr. Jeffrey M. Kidd was lead author of the article, which described the new techniques the research team used to find some of the missing sequences.

Kidd headed the study while earning his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in the Eichler lab. Kidd is now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.

"Over the past several years, the extent to which the structure of the genome varies among humans has become clearer. This variation suggested that there must be portions of the human genome where DNA sequences had yet to be discovered, annotated and characterized," he said "We hope that these sequences ultimately will be included as part of future releases of the reference human genome sequence."

The reference genome is a yardstick – or standard for comparison – for studies of human genetics.

The human reference genome was first created in 2001 and is updated every couple of years, Kidd explained. It's a mosaic of DNA sequences derived from several individuals. He went on to say that about 80 percent of the reference genome came from eight people. One of them actually accounts for more than 66 percent of the total.

Along with their collaborators at Agilent, the team designed ways to examine these newly identified sequences in a panel of people representing populations from around the world. The researchers found that, in some cases, the number of copies of these sequences varied from person to person.

The fact that a person can have one or more copies, or no copy at all, of a particular DNA sequence may account for why these sequences were missing from the reference genome. The researchers also found that some of these sequences were common or rare in different populations, depending on from which part of the globe their ancestors originated.

"Each segment of the reference genome is from a single person, and reflects the genome of that individual. If the donor sample was missing a sequence that many other people have, that sequence would not be represented in the reference genome." Kidd explained. "That is why some of the positions on the reference genome represent rare structural configurations or entirely omit sequences found in the majority of people." Kidd said that the study published in Nature Methods used information from nine individuals, representing various world populations, to search for and fill in some of the missing pieces.

By looking at genomes from seven kinds of animals, the researchers were also able to show that some of the newly identified DNA sequences appear to have been conserved during the evolution of mammals and man. The animals whose genomes were studied were chimpanzee, Bornean orangutan, Rhesus monkey, house mouse, Norway rat, dog, and horse.

"Some of the sequences were present in several different species, but were absent from the reference genome," Kidd said. "Some of the sequences present in several mammals actually correspond to sites of variations in humans – some people have retained a particular sequence, and others have lost it."

The researchers also developed a method to accurately genotype many of the newly found DNA sequences and created a way to look at variations in the number of copies of these sequences, thereby opening up regions of the human genome previously inaccessible to such studies.

"Scientists can now begin trying to understand the functional importance of these sequences and their variations," Kidd said.

The 1,000 Genomes Project (an international effort to fully sequence the genomes of a thousand anonymous individuals) and other genome studies are amassing massive amounts of data on DNA sequences that are then mapped to the reference genome, he added. Any study, he continued, that improves the completeness and quality of the reference genome assembly will thereby benefit these projects and lead to a fuller picture of the extent of human genomic variation.

The findings are published as "Characterization of missing human genome sequences and copy-number polymorphic insertions," in Nature Methods.

In addition to Kidd and Eichler, other researchers on the study were Nick Sampas, Paige Anderson, Anya Tsalenko, N. Alice Yamada, Peter Tsang, and Laurakay Bruhn, all of Agilent Laboratories, Santa Clara, Calif.; Francesca Antonacci, Hillary S. Hayden, Can Alkan, and Maika Malig, all of the University of Washington in Seattle; Tina Graves, Robert Fulton, Joelle Kallicki, and Richard K. Wilson, all of the Genome Sequencing Center at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; and Mario Ventura and Giuliana Giannuzzi of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Bari, Italy.

Kidd's work on this study was supported by a U.S. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The study was funded by a grant to Eichler from the National Institutes of Health entitled "Human Genome Structural Variation."

Leila Gray | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

Further reports about: DNA DNA sequence Nature Immunology genome sequence human genome methods

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control
28.03.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients

28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>