Dec 13, 2017

Genetic landscapes reveal how human genetic diversity aligns with geography

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Benjamin M PeterJohn Novembre

Abstract

Summarizing spatial patterns in human genetic diversity to understand population history has been a persistent goal for human geneticists. Here, we use a recently developed spatially explicit method to estimate "effective migration" surfaces to visualize how human genetic diversity is geographically structured (the EEMS method). The resulting surfaces are "rugged", which indicates the relationship between genetic and geographic distance is heterogenous and distorted as a rule. Most prominently, topographic and marine features regularly align with increased genetic differentiation (e.g. the Sahara desert, Mediterranean Sea or Himalaya at large scales; the Adriatic, inter-island straits in near Oceania at smaller scales). We also see traces of historical migrations and boundaries of language families. These results provide visualizations of human genetic diversity that reveal local patterns of differentiation in detail and emphasize that while genetic similarity generally decays with geographic distance, there have regularly been factors that subtly distort the underlying relationship across space observed today. The fine-scale population structure depicted here is relevant to understanding complex processes of human population h...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
Patterns
Human Genetics
Anatomical Space Structure
Rhabdophis himalayanus
Cell Differentiation Process
Geneticist
Structure
Surface
Migration, Cell

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