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Extending long-range phasing and haplotype library imputation algorithms to large and heterogeneous datasets

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38
JournalGenetics Selection Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2020


BACKGROUND: We describe the latest improvements to the long-range phasing (LRP) and haplotype library imputation (HLI) algorithms for successful phasing of both datasets with one million individuals and datasets genotyped using different sets of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Previous publicly available implementations of the LRP algorithm implemented in AlphaPhase could not phase large datasets due to the computational cost of defining surrogate parents by exhaustive all-against-all searches. Furthermore, the AlphaPhase implementations of LRP and HLI were not designed to deal with large amounts of missing data that are inherent when using multiple SNP arrays.

METHODS: We developed methods that avoid the need for all-against-all searches by performing LRP on subsets of individuals and then concatenating the results. We also extended LRP and HLI algorithms to enable the use of different sets of markers, including missing values, when determining surrogate parents and identifying haplotypes. We implemented and tested these extensions in an updated version of AlphaPhase, and compared its performance to the software package Eagle2.

RESULTS: A simulated dataset with one million individuals genotyped with the same 6711 SNPs for a single chromosome took less than a day to phase, compared to more than seven days for Eagle2. The percentage of correctly phased alleles at heterozygous loci was 90.2 and 99.9% for AlphaPhase and Eagle2, respectively. A larger dataset with one million individuals genotyped with 49,579 SNPs for a single chromosome took AlphaPhase 23 days to phase, with 89.9% of alleles at heterozygous loci phased correctly. The phasing accuracy was generally lower for datasets with different sets of markers than with one set of markers. For a simulated dataset with three sets of markers, 1.5% of alleles at heterozygous positions were phased incorrectly, compared to 0.4% with one set of markers.

CONCLUSIONS: The improved LRP and HLI algorithms enable AlphaPhase to quickly and accurately phase very large and heterogeneous datasets. AlphaPhase is an order of magnitude faster than the other tested packages, although Eagle2 showed a higher level of phasing accuracy. The speed gain will make phasing achievable for very large genomic datasets in livestock, enabling more powerful breeding and genetics research and application.

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