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Detection of short tandem repeat (STR) expansions with standard short-read sequencing is challenging due to the difficulty in mapping multicopy repeat sequences. In this study, we explored how the long-range sequence information of barcode linked-read sequencing (BLRS) can be leveraged to improve repeat-read detection. We also devised a novel algorithm using BLRS barcodes for distance estimation and evaluated its application for STR genotyping. Both approaches were designed for genotyping large expansions (> 1 kb) that cannot be sized accurately by existing methods. Using simulated and experimental data of genomes with STR expansions from multiple BLRS platforms, we validated the utility of barcode and phasing information in attaining better STR genotypes compared to standard short-read sequencing. Although the coverage bias of extremely GC-rich STRs is an important limitation of BLRS, BLRS is an effective strategy for genotyping many other STR loci. © 2022. The Author(s).

Citation

Readman Chiu, Indhu-Shree Rajan-Babu, Inanc Birol, Jan M Friedman. Linked-read sequencing for detecting short tandem repeat expansions. Scientific reports. 2022 Jun 07;12(1):9352

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PMID: 35672336

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