Whole exome sequencing in an isolated population from the Dalmatian island of Vis

Ana Jerončić, Y. Memari, Graham Ritchie, Audrey Hendricks, Anja Kolb-Kokocinski, Angela Matchan, Veronique Vitart, Caroline Hayward, Ivana Kolcić, Dominik Glodzik, Alan Wright, Igor Rudan, Harry Campbell, Richard Durbin, Ozen Polasek, Eleftheria Zeggini, Vesna Boraska Perica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have whole-exome sequenced 176 individuals from the isolated population of the island of Vis in Croatia in order to describe exonic variation architecture. We found 290 577 single nucleotide variants (SNVs), 65% of which are singletons, low frequency or rare variants. A total of 25 430 (9%) SNVs are novel, previously not catalogued in NHLBI GO Exome Sequencing Project, UK10K-Generation Scotland, 1000Genomes Project, ExAC or NCBI Reference Assembly dbSNP. The majority of these variants (76%) are singletons. Comparable to data obtained from UK10K-Generation Scotland that were sequenced and analysed using the same protocols, we detected an enrichment of potentially damaging variants (non-synonymous and loss-of-function) in the low frequency and common variant categories. On average 115 (range 93–140) genotypes with loss-of-function variants, 23 (15–34) of which were homozygous, were identified per person. The landscape of loss-of-function variants across an exome revealed that variants mainly accumulated in genes on the xenobiotic-related pathways, of which majority coded for enzymes. The frequency of loss-of-function variants was additionally increased in Vis runs of homozygosity regions where variants mainly affected signalling pathways. This work confirms the isolate status of Vis population by means of whole-exome sequence and reveals the pattern of loss-of-function mutations, which resembles the trails of adaptive evolution that were found in other species. By cataloguing the exomic variants and describing the allelic structure of the Vis population, this study will serve as a valuable resource for future genetic studies of human diseases, population genetics and evolution in this population.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Early online date6 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2016


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