Whole-exome sequencing to analyze population structure, parental inbreeding, and familial linkage


We compared the information provided by whole-exome sequencing (WES) and genome-wide single-nucleotide variant arrays in terms of principal component analysis, homozygosity rate estimation, and linkage analysis using 110 subjects originating from different regions of the world. WES provided an accurate prediction of population substructure using high-quality variants with a minor allele frequency > 2% and reliable estimation of homozygosity rates using runs of homozygosity. Finally, homozygosity mapping in 15 consanguineous families showed that WES led to powerful linkage analyses, particularly in coding regions. Overall, our study shows that WES could be used for several analyses that are very helpful to optimize the search for disease-causing exome variants.