Next generation sequencing in research and diagnostics of ocular birth defects

Gordana Raca, Craig Jackson, Berta Warman, Tom Bair, Lisa A. Schimmenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Sequence capture enrichment (SCE) strategies and massively parallel next generation sequencing (NGS) are expected to increase the rate of gene discovery for genetically heterogeneous hereditary diseases, but at present, there are very few examples of successful application of these technologic advances in translational research and clinical testing. Our study assessed whether array based target enrichment followed by re-sequencing on the Roche Genome Sequencer FLX (GS FLX) system could be used for novel mutation identification in more than 1000 exons representing 100 candidate genes for ocular birth defects, and as a control, whether these methods could detect two known mutations in the PAX2 gene. We assayed two samples with heterozygous sequence changes in PAX2 that were previously identified by conventional Sanger sequencing. These changes were a c.527G > C (S176T) substitution and a single basepair deletion c.77delG. The nucleotide substitution c.527G > C was easily identified by NGS. A deletion of one base in a long polyG stretch (c.77delG) was not registered initially by the GS Reference Mapper, but was detected in repeated analysis using two different software packages. Different approaches were evaluated for distinguishing false positives (sequencing errors) and benign polymorphisms from potentially pathogenic sequence changes that require further follow-up. Although improvements will be necessary in accuracy, speed, ease of data analysis and cost, our study confirms that NGS can be used in research and diagnostic settings to screen for mutations in hundreds of loci in genetically heterogeneous human diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Anophthalmia
  • Coloboma
  • GS FLX
  • Microphthalmia
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Sequence capture


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