Population-Scale Sequencing Data Enables Precise Estimates of Y-STR Mutation Rates

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Thomas WillemsYaniv Erlich


Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) are mutation-prone loci that span nearly 1% of the human genome. Previous studies have estimated the mutation rates of highly polymorphic STRs using capillary electrophoresis and pedigree-based designs. While this work has provided insights into the mutational dynamics of highly mutable STRs, the mutation rates of most others remain unknown. Here, we harnessed whole-genome sequencing data to estimate the mutation rates of Y-chromosome STRs (Y-STRs) with 2-6 base pair repeat units that are accessible to Illumina sequencing. We genotyped 4,500 Y-STRs using data from the 1000 Genomes Project and the Simons Genome Diversity Project. Next, we developed MUTEA, an algorithm that infers STR mutation rates from population-scale data using a high-resolution SNP-based phylogeny. After extensive intrinsic and extrinsic validations, we harnessed MUTEA to derive mutation rate estimates for 702 polymorphic STRs by tracing each locus over 222,000 meioses, resulting in the largest collection of Y-STR mutation rates to date. Using our estimates, we identified determinants of STR mutation rates and built a model to predict rates for STRs across the genome. These predictions indicate that the load of de novo STR mutatio...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Experimental Design
Forensic Medicine
Genetic Techniques
Electrophoresis, Capillary
Trinucleotide Repeats
Genes, Y-Linked
Gene Polymorphism
Population Study (Research Activity)

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