I am reading some articles on genetic variations and I see there are two types of analysis one is genome wide genetic variation analysis and second one is locus specific genetic variation analysis. I don't understand what these two, genome wide and locus specific analysis mean and what is the difference between these two analysis or why do we need both type of analysis?


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A locus (plur. loci) is a region of arbitrary size on a chromosome. A locus can be a single nucleotide or it can much larger (like $10^7$ sites).

A genome-wide analysis is therefore an analysis using the whole genome at once while a locus-specific analysis is the same analysis performed at the level of individual loci.

To make an analogy, if a genome-wide analysis is like a country-wide analysis, then a locus specific analysis is like a city specific analysis.

Without more context, it will not be possible to say more than that!

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    $\begingroup$ So what I understand is that, Genome wide SNP analysis means detection of SNPs in whole Genome, this gives us the location of the SNP and then this Location specific analysis is done on different people to find out if that SNP is present in certain group of people(Europe/Asian for example)? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ I would need to read the paper to know what they really did but the term "locus-specific" does not mean "individual-specific" or "subpopulation-specific", it means "locus-specific", where locus is an arbitrarily defined genomic regions. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 19:43

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