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Blood cells play essential roles in human health, underpinning physiological processes such as immunity, oxygen transport, and clotting, which when perturbed cause a significant global health burden. Here we integrate data from UK Biobank and a large-scale international collaborative effort, including data for 563,085 European ancestry participants, and discover 5,106 new genetic variants independently associated with 29 blood cell phenotypes covering a range of variation impacting hematopoiesis. We holistically characterize the genetic architecture of hematopoiesis, assess the relevance of the omnigenic model to blood cell phenotypes, delineate relevant hematopoietic cell states influenced by regulatory genetic variants and gene networks, identify novel splice-altering variants mediating the associations, and assess the polygenic prediction potential for blood traits and clinical disorders at the interface of complex and Mendelian genetics. These results show the power of large-scale blood cell trait GWAS to interrogate clinically meaningful variants across a wide allelic spectrum of human variation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.008

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell

Publication Date

09/2020

Volume

182

Pages

1214 - 1231.e11

Addresses

Human Genetics, Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton, CB10 1SA, UK; National Institute for Health Research Blood and Transplant Research Unit (NIHR BTRU) in Donor Health and Genomics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 8RN, UK.

Keywords

VA Million Veteran Program