Can we predict the mutation rate at the single nucleotide scale in the human genome?
Adam Eyre-Walker, Ying Chen
(Submitted on 29 Oct 2013)
It has been recently claimed that it is possible to predict the rate of de novo mutation of each site in the human genome with almost perfect accuracy (Michaelson et al. (2012) Cell, 151, 1431-1442). We show that this claim is unwarranted. By considering the correlation between the rate of de novo mutation and the predictions from the model of Michaelson et al., we show that there could be substantial unexplained variance in the mutation rate. We also demonstrate that the model of Michaelson et al. fails to capture a major component of the variation in the mutation rate, that which is local but not associated with simple context.