Telogator: A method for reporting chromosome-specific telomere lengths from long reads

Zachary Stephens, Alejandro Ferrer, Lisa Boardman, Ravishankar K. Iyer, Jean Pierre A. Kocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motivation: Telomeres are the repetitive sequences found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and are often thought of as a 'biological clock,' with their average length shortening during division in most cells. In addition to their association with senescence, abnormal telomere lengths are well known to be associated with multiple cancers, short telomere syndromes and as risk factors for a broad range of diseases. While a majority of methods for measuring telomere length will report average lengths across all chromosomes, it is known that aberrations in specific chromosome arms are biomarkers for certain diseases. Due to their repetitive nature, characterizing telomeres at this resolution is prohibitive for short read sequencing approaches, and is challenging still even with longer reads. Results: We present Telogator: a method for reporting chromosome-specific telomere length from long read sequencing data. We demonstrate Telogator's sensitivity in detecting chromosome-specific telomere length in simulated data across a range of read lengths and error rates. Telogator is then applied to 10 germline samples, yielding a high correlation with short read methods in reporting average telomere length. In addition, we investigate common subtelomere rearrangements and identify the minimum read length required to anchor telomere/subtelomere boundaries in samples with these haplotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1788-1793
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Telogator: A method for reporting chromosome-specific telomere lengths from long reads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this