Apr 21, 2020

Identity-by-descent detection across 487,409 British samples reveals fine-scale population structure, evolutionary history, and trait associations

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. Nait SaadaPier Francesco Palamara


Detection of Identical-By-Descent (IBD) segments provides a fundamental measure of genetic relatedness and plays a key role in a wide range of genomic analyses. We developed a new method, called FastSMC, that enables accurate biobank-scale detection of IBD segments transmitted by common ancestors living up to several hundreds of generations in the past. FastSMC combines a fast heuristic search for IBD segments with accurate coalescent-based likelihood calculations and enables estimating the age of common ancestors transmitting IBD regions. We applied FastSMC to 487,409 phased samples from the UK Biobank and detected the presence of ~214 billion IBD segments transmitted by shared ancestors within the past 1,500 years. We quantified time-dependent shared ancestry within and across 120 postcodes, obtaining a fine-grained picture of genetic relatedness within the past two millennia in the UK. Sharing of common ancestors strongly correlates with geographic distance, enabling the localization of a sample's birth coordinates from genomic data. We sought evidence of recent positive selection by identifying loci with unusually strong shared ancestry within recent millennia and we detected 12 genome-wide significant signals, including 7 ...Continue Reading

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