Minor allele frequency
Minor allele frequency (MAF) refers to the frequency at which the least common allele occurs in a given population.
It is widely used in population genetics studies because it provides information to differentiate between common and rare variants in the population. As an example, a recent study sequenced the whole genomes of 2,120 Sardinian individuals. The authors classified the variants found in the study in three classes according to the frequency of the MAF. It was observed that rare variants (MAF <0.5%) appeared more frequently in coding regions than common variants (MAF >5%) in this population.
How to interpret MAF data
1. Introduce the reference of a SNP of interest, as an example: rs429358, in a database (dbSNP or other).
2. Find MAF/MinorAlleleCount link. MAF/MinorAlleleCount: C=0.1506/754 (1000 Genomes)
3. what does those numbers mean?:
a. C, is the minor allele for that particular locus
b. 0.1506, is the frequency of the C allele (MAF), it means 15% according to 1000 Genomes database.
c. 754, is the number of times this SNP have been observed in the population of the study.
- The International HapMap Consortium (2005). "A haplotype map of the human genome". Nature 437 (7063): 1299–1320. doi:10.1038/nature04226. PMC 1880871. PMID 16255080.
- Sidore, C., y colaboradores (2015). "Genome sequencing elucidates Sardinian genetic architecture and augments association analyses for lipid and blood inflammatory markers". Nature Genetics 47: 1272–1281. doi:10.1038/ng.3368.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: New SNP Attributes
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