A novel framework for characterizing genomic haplotype diversity in the human immunoglobulin heavy chain locus
Rodriguez OL., Gibson WS., Parks TT., Emery M., Powell J., Strahl M., Deikus G., Auckland K., Eichler EE., Marasco WA., Sebra R., Sharp AJ., Smith ML., Bashir A., Watson CT.
<jats:p>An incomplete ascertainment of genetic variation within the highly polymorphic immunoglobulin heavy chain locus (IGH) has hindered our ability to define genetic factors that influence antibody and B cell mediated processes. To date, methods for locus-wide genotyping of all IGH variant types do not exist. Here, we combine targeted long-read sequencing with a novel bioinformatics tool, IGenotyper, to fully characterize genetic variation within IGH in a haplotype-specific manner. We apply this approach to eight human samples, including a haploid cell line and two mother-father-child trios, and demonstrate the ability to generate high-quality assemblies (>98% complete and >99% accurate), genotypes, and gene annotations, including 2 novel structural variants and 17 novel gene alleles. We show that multiplexing allows for scaling of the approach without impacting data quality, and that our genotype call sets are more accurate than short-read (>35% increase in true positives and >97% decrease in false-positives) and array/imputation-based datasets. This framework establishes a foundation for leveraging IG genomic data to study population-level variation in the antibody response.</jats:p>