11 May 2022

Benchmarking challenging small variants with linked and long reads

Justin Wagner, Nathan D. Olson, Lindsay Harris, Ziad Khan, Jesse Farek, Medhat Mahmoud, Ana Stankovic, Vladimir Kovacevic, Byunggil Yoo, Neil Miller, Jeffrey A. Rosenfeld, Bohan Ni, Samantha Zarate, Melanie Kirsche, Sergey Aganezov, Michael C. Schatz, Giuseppe Narzisi, Marta Byrska-Bishop, Wayne Clarke, Uday S. Evani, Justin M. Zook - Cell Genomics, 2022


Genome in a Bottle benchmarks are widely used to help validate clinical sequencing pipelines and develop variant calling and sequencing methods. Here we use accurate linked and long reads to expand benchmarks in 7 samples to include difficult-to-map regions and segmental duplications that are challenging for short reads. These benchmarks add more than 300,000 SNVs and 50,000 insertions or deletions (indels) and include 16% more exonic variants, many in challenging, clinically relevant genes not covered previously, such as PMS2. For HG002, we include 92% of the autosomal GRCh38 assembly while excluding regions problematic for benchmarking small variants, such as copy number variants, that should not have been in the previous version, which included 85% of GRCh38. It identifies eight times more false negatives in a short read variant call set relative to our previous benchmark. We demonstrate that this benchmark reliably identifies false positives and false negatives across technologies, enabling ongoing methods development.

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