DOI: 10.1101/276931Mar 7, 2018Paper

High-throughput inference of pairwise coalescence times identifies signals of selection and enriched disease heritability

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pier Francesco PalamaraAlkes L. Price


Interest in reconstructing demographic histories has motivated the development of methods to estimate locus-specific pairwise coalescence times from whole-genome sequence data. We developed a new method, ASMC, that can estimate coalescence times using only SNP array data, and is 2-4 orders of magnitude faster than previous methods when sequencing data are available. We were thus able to apply ASMC to 113,851 phased British samples from the UK Biobank, aiming to detect recent positive selection by identifying loci with unusually high density of very recent coalescence times. We detected 12 genome-wide significant signals, including 6 loci with previous evidence of positive selection and 6 novel loci, consistent with coalescent simulations showing that our approach is well-powered to detect recent positive selection. We also applied ASMC to sequencing data from 498 Dutch individuals (Genome of the Netherlands data set) to detect background selection at deeper time scales. We observed highly significant correlations between average coalescence time inferred by ASMC and other measures of background selection. We investigated whether this signal translated into an enrichment in disease and complex trait heritability by analyzing sum...Continue Reading

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