Whole-Exome Sequencing in the Isolated Populations of Cilento from South Italy

T Nutile, D Ruggiero, A F Herzig, A Tirozzi, S Nappo, R Sorice, F Marangio, C Bellenguez, A L Leutenegger, M Ciullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study describes the genetic architecture of the isolated populations of Cilento, through the analysis of exome sequence data of 245 representative individuals of these populations. By annotating the exome variants and cataloguing them according to their frequency and functional effects, we identified 347,684 variants, 67.4% of which are rare and low frequency variants, and 1% of them (corresponding to 319 variants per person) are classified as high functional impact variants; also, 39,946 (11.5% of the total) are novel variants, for which we determined a significant enrichment for deleterious effects. By comparing the allele frequencies in Cilento with those from the Tuscan population from the 1000 Genomes Project Phase 3, we highlighted an increase in allele frequency in Cilento especially for variants which map to genes involved in extracellular matrix formation and organization. Furthermore, among the variants showing increased frequency we identified several known rare disease-causing variants. By different population genetics analyses, we corroborated the status of the Cilento populations as genetic isolates. Finally, we showed that exome data of Cilento represents a useful local reference panel capable of improving the accuracy of genetic imputation, thus adding power to genetic studies of human traits in these populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4059
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2019


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