• Weigong Ge

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Evaluating variations of genotype calling: a potential source of spurious associations in genome-wide association studies

      Xuixiao Hong Zhenqiang Su Weigong Ge Leming Shi Roger Perkins Hong Fang Donna Mendrick Weida Tong

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      Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) examine the entire human genome with the goal of identifying genetic variants (usually single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) that are associated with phenotypic traits such as disease status and drug response. The discordance of significantly associated SNPs for the same disease identified from different GWAS indicates that false associations exist in such results. In addition to the possible sources of spurious associations that have been investigated and discussed intensively, such as sample size and population stratification, an accurate and reproducible genotype calling algorithm is required for concordant GWAS results from different studies. However, variations of genotype calling of an algorithm and their effects on significantly associated SNPs identified in downstream association analyses have not been systematically investigated. In this paper, the variations of genotype calling using the Bayesian Robust Linear Model with Mahalanobis distance classifier (BRLMM) algorithm and the resulting influence on the lists of significantly associated SNPs were evaluated using the raw data of 270 HapMap samples analysed with the Affymetrix Human Mapping 500K Array Set (Affy500K) by changing algorithmic parameters. Modified were the Dynamic Model (DM) call confidence threshold (threshold) and the number of randomly selected SNPs (size). Comparative analysis of the calling results and the corresponding lists of significantly associated SNPs identified through association analysis revealed that algorithmic parameters used in BRLMM affected the genotype calls and the significantly associated SNPs. Both the threshold and the size affected the called genotypes and the lists of significantly associated SNPs in association analysis. The effect of the threshold was much larger than the effect of the size. Moreover, the heterozygous calls had lower consistency compared to the homozygous calls.

    • Comparing genetic variants detected in the 1000 genomes project with SNPs determined by the International HapMap Consortium

      Wenqian Zhang Hui Wen Ng Mao Shu Heng Luo Zhenqiang Su Weigong Ge Roger Perkins Weida Tong Huixiao Hong

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      Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) determined based on SNP arrays from the international HapMap consortium (HapMap) and the genetic variants detected in the 1000 genomes project (1KGP) can serve as two references for genomewide association studies (GWAS). We conducted comparative analyses to provide a means for assessing concerns regarding SNP array-based GWAS findings as well as for realistically bounding expectations for next generation sequencing (NGS)-based GWAS. We calculated and compared base composition, transitions to transversions ratio, minor allele frequency and heterozygous rate for SNPs from HapMap and 1KGP for the 622 common individuals. We analysed the genotype discordance between HapMap and 1KGP to assess consistency in the SNPs from the two references. In 1KGP, 90.58% of 36,817,799 SNPs detected were not measured in HapMap. More SNPs with minor allele frequencies less than 0.01 were found in 1KGP than HapMap. The two references have low discordance (generally smaller than 0.02) in genotypes of common SNPs, with most discordance from heterozygous SNPs. Our study demonstrated that SNP array-based GWAS findings were reliable and useful, although only a small portion of genetic variances were explained. NGS can detect not only common but also rare variants, supporting the expectation that NGS-based GWAS will be able to incorporate a much larger portion of genetic variance than SNP arrays-based GWAS.

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