Characterization of the immunoglobulin lambda chain locus from diverse populations reveals extensive genetic variation

William S. Gibson, Oscar L. Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Shields, Catherine A. Silver, Abdullah Dorgham, Matthew Emery, Gintaras Deikus, Robert Sebra, Evan E. Eichler, Ali Bashir, Melissa L. Smith, Corey T. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Immunoglobulins (IGs), crucial components of the adaptive immune system, are encoded by three genomic loci. However, the complexity of the IG loci severely limits the effective use of short read sequencing, limiting our knowledge of population diversity in these loci. We leveraged existing long read whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data, fosmid technology, and IG targeted single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing (IG-Cap) to create haplotype-resolved assemblies of the IG Lambda (IGL) locus from 6 ethnically diverse individuals. In addition, we generated 10 diploid assemblies of IGL from a diverse cohort of individuals utilizing IG-Cap. From these 16 individuals, we identified significant allelic diversity, including 36 novel IGLV alleles. In addition, we observed highly elevated single nucleotide variation (SNV) in IGLV genes relative to IGL intergenic and genomic background SNV density. By comparing SNV calls between our high quality assemblies and existing short read datasets from the same individuals, we show a high propensity for false-positives in the short read datasets. Finally, for the first time, we nucleotide-resolved common 5-10 Kb duplications in the IGLC region that contain functional IGLJ and IGLC genes. Together these data represent a significant advancement in our understanding of genetic variation and population diversity in the IGL locus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalGenes and Immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


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