Identity-by-state-based haplotyping expands the application of comprehensive preimplantation genetic testing

Jia Ding, Eftychia Dimitriadou, Olga Tsuiko, Aspasia Destouni, Cindy Melotte, Kris Van Den Bogaert, Sophie Debrock, Tatjana Jatsenko, Masoud Zamani Esteki, Thierry Voet, Karen Peeraer, Ellen Denayer, Joris Robert Vermeesch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


STUDY QUESTION: Is it possible to haplotype parents using parental siblings to leverage preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) for monogenic diseases and aneuploidy (comprehensive PGT) by genome-wide haplotyping?

SUMMARY ANSWER: We imputed identity-by-state (IBS) sharing of parental siblings to phase parental genotypes.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Genome-wide haplotyping of preimplantation embryos is being implemented as a generic approach for genetic diagnosis of inherited single-gene disorders. To enable the phasing of genotypes into haplotypes, genotyping the direct family members of the prospective parent carrying the mutation is required. Current approaches require genotypes of either (i) both or one of the parents of the affected prospective parent or (ii) an affected or an unaffected child of the couple. However, this approach cannot be used when parents or children are not attainable, prompting an investigation into alternative phasing options.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This is a retrospective validation study, which applied IBS-based phasing of parental haplotypes in 56 embryos derived from 12 PGT families. Genome-wide haplotypes and copy number profiles generated for each embryo using the new phasing approach were compared with the reference PGT method to evaluate the diagnostic concordance.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: This study included 12 couples with a known hereditary genetic disorder, participating in the comprehensive PGT program and with at least one parental sibling available (e.g. brother and/or sister). Genotyping data from both prospective parents and the parental sibling(s) were used to perform IBS-based phasing and to trace the disease-associated alleles. The outcome of the IBS-based PGT was compared with the results of the clinically implemented reference haplotyping-based PGT method.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: IBS-based haplotyping was performed for 12 PGT families. In accordance with the theoretical prediction of allele sharing between sibling pairs, 6 out of 12 (50%) couples or 23 out of 56 embryos could be phased using parental siblings. In families where phasing was possible, haplotype calling in the locus of interest was 100% concordant between the reference PGT method and IBS-based approach using parental siblings.


LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Phasing of parental haplotypes will only be possible when the disease locus lies in an informative region (categorized as IBS1). Phasing prospective parents using relatives with reduced genetic relatedness as a reference (e.g. siblings) decreases the size and the occurrence of informative IBS1 regions, necessary for haplotype calling. By including more than one extended family member, the chance of obtaining IBS1 coverage in the interrogated locus can be increased. A pre-PGT work-up can define whether the carrier couple could benefit from this approach.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Phasing by relatives extends the potential of comprehensive PGT, since it allows the inclusion of couples who do not have access to the standard phasing references, such as parents or offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-726
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • embryo haplotyping
  • comprehensive PGT
  • haplarithmisis
  • identity-by-state phasing
  • IBS-based PGT


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