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Biological insights from the whole genome analysis of human embryonic stem cells

By Florian T Merkle, Sulagna Ghosh, Giulio Genovese, Robert E Handsaker, Seva Kashin, Konrad Karczewski, Colm O'Dushlaine, Carlos Pato, Michele T Pato, Daniel MacArthur, Steven A McCarroll, Kevin Eggan

Posted 26 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.26.337352

There has not yet been a systematic analysis of hESC whole genomes at a single nucleotide resolution. We therefore performed whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 143 hESC lines and annotated their single nucleotide and structural genetic variants. We found that while a substantial fraction of hESC lines contained large deleterious structural variants, finer scale structural and single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that are ascertainable only through WGS analyses were present in hESCs genomes and human blood-derived genomes at similar frequencies. However, WGS did identify SNVs associated with cancer or other diseases that will likely alter cellular phenotypes and may compromise the safety of hESCderived cellular products transplanted into humans. As a resource to enable reproducible hESC research and safer translation, we provide a user-friendly WGS data portal and a data-driven scheme for cell line maintenance and selection. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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