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, 9 (1), 14725

Introducing the First Whole Genomes of Nationals From the United Arab Emirates


Introducing the First Whole Genomes of Nationals From the United Arab Emirates

Habiba S AlSafar et al. Sci Rep.


Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) provides an in depth description of genome variation. In the era of large-scale population genome projects, the assembly of ethnic-specific genomes combined with mapping human reference genomes of underrepresented populations has improved the understanding of human diversity and disease associations. In this study, for the first time, whole genome sequences of two nationals of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at >27X coverage are reported. The two Emirati individuals were predominantly of Central/South Asian ancestry. An in-house customized pipeline using BWA, Picard followed by the GATK tools to map the raw data from whole genome sequences of both individuals was used. A total of 3,994,521 variants (3,350,574 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and 643,947 indels) were identified for the first individual, the UAE S001 sample. A similar number of variants, 4,031,580 (3,373,501 SNPs and 658,079 indels), were identified for UAE S002. Variants that are associated with diabetes, hypertension, increased cholesterol levels, and obesity were also identified in these individuals. These Whole Genome Sequences has provided a starting point for constructing a UAE reference panel which will lead to improvements in the delivery of precision medicine, quality of life for affected individuals and a reduction in healthcare costs. The information compiled will likely lead to the identification of target genes that could potentially lead to the development of novel therapeutic modalities.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Principal component analysis and supervised admixture analysis representing the estimated ethnic background of UAE S001 and UAE S002 (with admixtrure ratios shown as pie charts) compared to other genotypes of other UAE citizens and those in the HGDP dataset.
Figure 2
Figure 2
A pipeline chart showing the number and types of variants in the UAE S001 and UAE S002 samples.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Intergenome distances between genomes of UAE S001, UAE S002, Kuwaiti and individuals from the 51 populations in the HGDP.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Venn diagram presents the intersections of known variants among UAE S001, UAE S002 and KWP1 (individual of Persian ancestry from Kuwait).

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