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High throughput genotyping of structural variations in a complex plant genome using an original Affymetrix® axiom® array

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Background: Insertions/deletions (InDels) and more specifically presence/absence variations (PAVs) are pervasive in several species and have strong functional and phenotypic effect by removing or drastically modifying genes. Genotyping of such variants on large panels remains poorly addressed, while necessary for approaches such as association mapping or genomic selection. Results: We have developed, as a proof of concept, a new high-throughput and affordable approach to genotype InDels. We first identified 141,000 InDels by aligning reads from the B73 line against the genome of three temperate maize inbred lines (F2, PH207, and C103) and reciprocally. Next, we designed an Affymetrix® Axiom® array to target these InDels, with a combination of probes selected at breakpoint sites (13%) or within the InDel sequence, either at polymorphic (25%) or non-polymorphic sites (63%) sites. The final array design is composed of 662,772 probes and targets 105,927 InDels, including PAVs ranging from 35 bp to 129kbp. After Affymetrix® quality control, we successfully genotyped 86,648 polymorphic InDels (82% of all InDels interrogated by the array) on 445 maize DNA samples with 422,369 probes. Genotyping InDels using this approach produced a highly reliable dataset, with low genotyping error (~ 3%), high call rate (~ 98%), and high reproducibility (> 95%). This reliability can be further increased by combining genotyping of several probes calling the same InDels (< 0.1% error rate and > 99.9% of call rate for 5 probes). This "proof of concept" tool was used to estimate the kinship matrix between 362 maize lines with 57,824 polymorphic InDels. This InDels kinship matrix was highly correlated with kinship estimated using SNPs from Illumina 50 K SNP arrays. Conclusions: We efficiently genotyped thousands of small to large InDels on a sizeable number of individuals using a new Affymetrix® Axiom® array. This powerful approach opens the way to studying the contribution of InDels to trait variation and heterosis in maize. The approach is easily extendable to other species and should contribute to decipher the biological impact of InDels at a larger scale.




Mabire, C., Duarte, J., Darracq, A., Pirani, A., Rimbert, H., Madur, D., … Nicolas, S. D. (2019). High throughput genotyping of structural variations in a complex plant genome using an original Affymetrix® axiom® array. BMC Genomics, 20(1).

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