Unrevealed mosaicism in the next-generation sequencing era

Mol Genet Genomics. 2016 Apr;291(2):513-30. doi: 10.1007/s00438-015-1130-7. Epub 2015 Oct 19.


Mosaicism refers to the presence in an individual of normal and abnormal cells that are genotypically distinct and are derived from a single zygote. The incidence of mosaicism events in the human body is underestimated as the genotypes in the mosaic ratio, especially in the low-grade mosaicism, stay unrevealed. This review summarizes various research outcomes and diagnostic questions in relation to different types of mosaicism. The impact of both tested biological material and applied method on the mosaicism detection rate is especially highlighted. As next-generation sequencing technologies constitute a promising methodological solution in mosaicism detection in the coming years, revisions in current diagnostic protocols are necessary to increase the detection rate of the unrevealed mosaicism events. Since mosaicism identification is a complex process, numerous examples of multistep mosaicism investigations are presented and discussed.

Keywords: Constitutional; Germline; Mosaic ratio; Mosaicism; NGS; Somatic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Epigenomics*
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genotype
  • Germ Cells*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing*
  • Humans
  • Mosaicism*