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J Comput Biol. 2012 Jun;19(6):731-44. doi: 10.1089/cmb.2012.0035. Epub 2012 May 31.

A novel genome-information content-based statistic for genome-wide association analysis designed for next-generation sequencing data.

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  • 1Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health, University of Texas, Houston, TX, USA.


The genome-wide association studies (GWAS) designed for next-generation sequencing data involve testing association of genomic variants, including common, low frequency, and rare variants. The current strategies for association studies are well developed for identifying association of common variants with the common diseases, but may be ill-suited when large amounts of allelic heterogeneity are present in sequence data. Recently, group tests that analyze their collective frequency differences between cases and controls shift the current variant-by-variant analysis paradigm for GWAS of common variants to the collective test of multiple variants in the association analysis of rare variants. However, group tests ignore differences in genetic effects among SNPs at different genomic locations. As an alternative to group tests, we developed a novel genome-information content-based statistics for testing association of the entire allele frequency spectrum of genomic variation with the diseases. To evaluate the performance of the proposed statistics, we use large-scale simulations based on whole genome low coverage pilot data in the 1000 Genomes Project to calculate the type 1 error rates and power of seven alternative statistics: a genome-information content-based statistic, the generalized T(2), collapsing method, multivariate and collapsing (CMC) method, individual χ(2) test, weighted-sum statistic, and variable threshold statistic. Finally, we apply the seven statistics to published resequencing dataset from ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, ANGPTL5, and ANGPTL6 genes in the Dallas Heart Study. We report that the genome-information content-based statistic has significantly improved type 1 error rates and higher power than the other six statistics in both simulated and empirical datasets.

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