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A reference panel of 64,976 haplotypes for genotype imputation


We describe a reference panel of 64,976 human haplotypes at 39,235,157 SNPs constructed using whole-genome sequence data from 20 studies of predominantly European ancestry. Using this resource leads to accurate genotype imputation at minor allele frequencies as low as 0.1% and a large increase in the number of SNPs tested in association studies, and it can help to discover and refine causal loci. We describe remote server resources that allow researchers to carry out imputation and phasing consistently and efficiently.

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Figure 1: Performance of imputation using different reference panels.
Figure 2: Association signal for the α1-antitrypsin phenotype at the SERPINA1 locus.

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We are grateful to all participants of all the studies that have contributed data to the HRC. J.M. acknowledges support from the ERC (grant 617306). W.K. acknowledges support from the Wellcome Trust (grant WT097307). S. McCarthy and R.D. acknowledge support from Wellcome Trust grant WT090851. A full list of acknowledgments for the cohorts is given in the Supplementary Note.

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Authors and Affiliations



The HRC was initially conceived by discussions between J.M., G.A., R.D., M.I.M. and M.B. Analysis and methods development were carried out by S. McCarthy, S.D., W.K., O.D., A.R.W., P.D. and H.M.K. Supervision of the research was provided by J.M., G.A. and R.D. The Michigan Imputation Server was developed by C.F., L. Forer S.S. and G.A. The Sanger Imputation Service was developed by P.D., S. McCarthy and R.D. The Oxford Statistics Phasing Server was developed by W.K., K. Sharp and J.M. All other authors contributed data sets to the project or provided advice.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Richard Durbin, Gonçalo Abecasis or Jonathan Marchini.

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The author declare no competing financial interests.

Integrated supplementary information

Supplementary Figure 1 The effect of sites filtering on Ts/Tv ratio per sample

The top figure shows the per-sample transition-transversion ratio (Ts/Tv) for chromosome 20 after running the GLPhase genotype calling method on the full MAC5 site list. In the bottom figure, GLPhase was run after the site filtering described in the text.

Supplementary Figure 2 Data summaries before and after site filtering

Figure a shows the number of sites in the unfiltered and filtered MAC5 site lists (chromosome 20) stratified by non-reference allele frequency. The allele frequency here is calculated from the genotypes made after running the GLPhase genotype calling method on the full MAC5 site list. Figure b shows the corresponding transition-transversion ratio (Ts/Tv) of these sites.

Supplementary Figure 3 Performance of imputation using different reference panels

The x-axis shows the non-reference allele frequency of the SNP being imputed on a log scale. The y-axis shows imputation accuracy measured by aggregate r2 when imputing SNP genotypes into 10 CEU samples. These results are based on using genotypes from sites on Illumina Core Exome SNP array.

Supplementary Figure 4 Performance of imputation using different reference panel.

The x-axis shows the non-reference allele frequency of the SNP being imputed on a log scale. The y-axis shows imputation accuracy measured by aggregate r2 when imputing SNP genotypes into 10 CEU samples. These results are based on using genotypes from sites on Illumina OMNI 5M SNP array.

Supplementary Figure 5 Site stratification by calling and filtering status across cohorts.

On the x-axis we show the number of studies a variant was called in (out of 20) and on the y-axis we show the number of times it was filtered out by the cohort-specific internal QC pipelines. The color shows the percentage of variants in each such cell (red means more than 10% of variants lie in that cell while blue means less than 0.1%). The number to the top right of each cell denotes the Ts/Tv ratio for all sites in that cell. Cells higher in the plot have been filtered out relatively often and usually represent poor variants, as is also seen from the low Ts/Tv ratio. All variants above the red line were filtered out (which excludes all cells which had been filtered independently by more than 4 studies or have Ts/Tv ratio less than 1.7)

Supplementary Figure 6 Comparison of methods for genotype calling as sample size increases

The figure shows a log-log plot of run time vs sample size for four different methods of genotype calling from GL data. For each sample size 5 random 1024 site chunks from chromosome 20 were used. Each dot represents the run time of a single dataset. Lines are drawn between successive means of run times for each value of sample size

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Supplementary Text and Figures

Supplementary Figures 1–6, Supplementary Tables 1–8 and Supplementary Note. (PDF 1898 kb)

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the Haplotype Reference Consortium. A reference panel of 64,976 haplotypes for genotype imputation. Nat Genet 48, 1279–1283 (2016).

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