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Ethnically relevant consensus Korean reference genome towards personal reference genomes

By Yun Sung Cho, Hyunho Kim, Hak-Min Kim, Sungwoong Jho, JeHoon Jun, Yong Joo Lee, Kyun Shik Chae, Chang Geun Kim, Sangsoo Kim, Anders Eriksson, Jeremy S. Edwards, Semin Lee, Byung Chul Kim, Andrea Manica, George McDonald Church, Jong Bhak

Posted 06 Sep 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/070805 (published DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13637)

Human genomes are routinely compared against a universal reference. However, this strategy could miss population-specific or personal genomic variations, which may be detected more efficiently using an ethnically-relevant and/or a personal reference. Here we report a hybrid assembly of Korean reference (KOREF) as a pilot case for constructing personal and ethnic references by combining sequencing and mapping methods. KOREF is also the first consensus variome reference, providing information on millions of variants from additional ethnically homogeneous personal genomes. We found that this ethnically-relevant consensus reference was beneficial for efficiently detecting variants. Systematic comparison of KOREF with previously established human assemblies showed the importance of assembly quality, suggesting the necessity of using new technologies to comprehensively map ethnic and personal genomic structure variations. In the era of large-scale population genome projects, the leveraging of ethnicity-specific genome assemblies as well as the human reference genome will accelerate mapping all human genome diversity.

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