Functional Annotation of Variants Online Resource (FAVOR) and Variant Annotator for Large Whole Genome Sequencing Studies (FAVORannotator)

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Team

Hufeng Zhou, Vineet Verma, Xihao Li, Zilin Li, Theodore Arapoglou,
Xihong Lin’s lab
Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University
Functional Annotation WG, NHGRI Genome Sequencing Program

Abstract

Large biobank-scale whole genome sequencing (WGS) studies are rapidly identifying a multitude of coding and non-coding variants. They provide an unprecedented resource for illuminating the genetic basis of human diseases. Variant functional annotations play a critical role in WGS analysis, result interpretation, and prioritization of disease- or trait-associated causal variants. Existing functional annotation databases have limited scope to perform online queries and functionally annotate the genotype data of large biobank-scale WGS studies. We develop the Functional Annotation of Variants Online Resources (FAVOR) to meet these pressing needs. FAVOR provides a comprehensive multi-faceted variant functional annotation online portal that summarizes and visualizes findings of all possible nine billion single nucleotide variants (SNVs) across the genome. It allows for rapid variant-, gene- and region-level queries of variant functional annotations. FAVOR integrates variant functional information from multiple sources to describe the functional characteristics of variants and facilitates prioritizing plausible causal variants influencing human phenotypes. Furthermore, we provide a scalable annotation tool, FAVORannotator, to functionally annotate large-scale WGS studies and efficiently store the genotype and their variant functional annotation data in a single file using the annotated Genomic Data Structure (aGDS) format, making downstream analysis more convenient.

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