Whole exome sequencing (WES) provides coverage of more than 95% of the exons, (the expressed or the protein-coding regions of the genome), which harbor the majority of the large genetic variants and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with human disease phenotypes.1 Of the ~3 billion bases that comprise the human genome, only about 1% is represented by coding sequences.1 By focusing on this most relevant portion of the genome, WES offers researchers the ability to use sequencing and analysis resources more efficiently. WES strategy starts by narrowing down the details of variants to be studied by filtering against databases such as HapMap, from the approximately 3.5 million SNPs identified in the human genome project. This focus enables a simpler way for discovery and validation of causative genes and common and rare variants. Exome sequencing has been proven useful in the identification of mutations involved in rare Mendelian diseases.2
Both WGS and WES have their own advantages. Understanding the major differences between them could help in determining which method would work best for a particular research purpose.
During library preparation, genomic DNA is fragmented, and targeted regions are captured by hybridization using biotinylated oligonucleotide probes in solution. The captured target sequences are isolated using streptavidin beads, and after washing and elution steps, are used for subsequent amplification and sequencing.
Roche Sequencing Solutions offers an entire suite of products for NGS sample preparation, ranging from sample QC, target enrichment to library quantification that enable the preparation of high-quality DNA libraries, critical for obtaining high-quality whole exome sequencing data.