Strategies for phasing and imputation in a population isolate

Anthony Francis Herzig, Teresa Nutile, Marie Claude Babron, Marina Ciullo, Céline Bellenguez, Anne Louise Leutenegger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the search for genetic associations with complex traits, population isolates offer the advantage of reduced genetic and environmental heterogeneity. In addition, cost-efficient next-generation association approaches have been proposed in these populations where only a subsample of representative individuals is sequenced and then genotypes are imputed into the rest of the population. Gene mapping in such populations thus requires high-quality genetic imputation and preliminary phasing. To identify an effective study design, we compare by simulation a range of phasing and imputation software and strategies. We simulated 1,115,604 variants on chromosome 10 for 477 members of the large complex pedigree of Campora, a village within the established isolate of Cilento in southern Italy. We assessed the phasing performance of identical by descent based software ALPHAPHASE and SLRP, LD-based software SHAPEIT2, SHAPEIT3, and BEAGLE, and new software EAGLE that combines both methodologies. For imputation we compared IMPUTE2, IMPUTE4, MINIMAC3, BEAGLE, and new software PBWT. Genotyping errors and missing genotypes were simulated to observe their effects on the performance of each software. Highly accurate phased data were achieved by all software with SHAPEIT2, SHAPEIT3, and EAGLE2 providing the most accurate results. MINIMAC3, IMPUTE4, and IMPUTE2 all performed strongly as imputation software and our study highlights the considerable gain in imputation accuracy provided by a genome sequenced reference panel specific to the population isolate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalGenetic Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • founder effect
  • genotyping errors
  • identity by descent
  • linkage disequilibrium
  • study specific panel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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