Korean Variant Archive (KOVA): A reference database of genetic variations in the Korean population

Sangmoon Lee, Jihae Seo, Jinman Park, Jae Yong Nam, Ahyoung Choi, Jason S. Ignatius, Robert D. Bjornson, Jong Hee Chae, In Jin Jang, Sanghyuk Lee, Woong Yang Park, Daehyun Baek, Murim Choi

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55 Scopus citations


Despite efforts to interrogate human genome variation through large-scale databases, systematic preference toward populations of Caucasian descendants has resulted in unintended reduction of power in studying non-Caucasians. Here we report a compilation of coding variants from 1,055 healthy Korean individuals (KOVA; Korean Variant Archive). The samples were sequenced to a mean depth of 75x, yielding 101 singleton variants per individual. Population genetics analysis demonstrates that the Korean population is a distinct ethnic group comparable to other discrete ethnic groups in Africa and Europe, providing a rationale for such independent genomic datasets. Indeed, KOVA conferred 22.8% increased variant filtering power in addition to Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) when used on Korean exomes. Functional assessment of nonsynonymous variant supported the presence of purifying selection in Koreans. Analysis of copy number variants detected 5.2 deletions and 10.3 amplifications per individual with an increased fraction of novel variants among smaller and rarer copy number variable segments. We also report a list of germline variants that are associated with increased tumor susceptibility. This catalog can function as a critical addition to the pre-existing variant databases in pursuing genetic studies of Korean individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4287
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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