A multi-breed reference panel and additional rare variants maximize imputation accuracy in cattle

Published on 2019-12-27T05:13:45Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background During the last decade, the use of common-variant array-based single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping in the beef and dairy industries has produced an astounding amount of medium-to-low density genomic data. Although low-density assays work well in the context of genomic prediction, they are less useful for detecting and mapping causal variants and the effects of rare variants are not captured. The objective of this project was to maximize the accuracies of genotype imputation from medium- and low-density assays to the marker set obtained by combining two high-density research assays (~ 850,000 SNPs), the Illumina BovineHD and the GGP-F250 assays, which contains a large proportion of rare and potentially functional variants and for which the assay design is described here. This 850 K SNP set is useful for both imputation to sequence-level genotypes and direct downstream analysis. Results We found that a large multi-breed composite imputation reference panel that includes 36,131 samples with either BovineHD and/or GGP-F250 genotypes significantly increased imputation accuracy compared with a within-breed reference panel, particularly at variants with low minor allele frequencies. Individual animal imputation accuracies were maximized when more genetically similar animals were represented in the composite reference panel, particularly with complete 850 K genotypes. The addition of rare variants from the GGP-F250 assay to our composite reference panel significantly increased the imputation accuracy of rare variants that are exclusively present on the BovineHD assay. In addition, we show that an assay marker density of 50 K SNPs balances cost and accuracy for imputation to 850 K. Conclusions Using high-density genotypes on all available individuals in a multi-breed reference panel maximized imputation accuracy for tested cattle populations. Admixed animals or those from breeds with a limited representation in the composite reference panel were still imputed at high accuracy, which is expected to further increase as the reference panel expands. We anticipate that the addition of rare variants from the GGP-F250 assay will increase the accuracy of imputation to sequence level.

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Rowan, Troy; Hoff, Jesse; Crum, Tamar; Taylor, Jeremy; Schnabel, Robert; Decker, Jared (2019): A multi-breed reference panel and additional rare variants maximize imputation accuracy in cattle. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4798167.v1