Dec 1, 2017

Model-based detection and analysis of introgressed Neanderthal ancestry in modern humans

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Matthias SteinrückenYun S. Song


Genetic evidence has revealed that the ancestors of modern human populations outside of Africa and their hominin sister groups, notably the Neanderthals, exchanged genetic material in the past. The distribution of these introgressed sequence-tracts along modern-day human genomes provides insight into the ancient structure and migration patterns of these archaic populations. Furthermore, it facilitates studying the selective processes that lead to the accumulation or depletion of introgressed genetic variation. Recent studies have developed methods to localize these introgressed regions, reporting long regions that are depleted of Neanderthal introgression and enriched in genes, suggesting negative selection against the Neanderthal variants. On the other hand, enriched Neanderthal ancestry in hair- and skin-related genes suggests that some introgressed variants facilitated adaptation to new environments. Here, we present a model-based method called diCal-admix and apply it to detect tracts of Neanderthal introgression in modern humans. We demonstrate its efficiency and accuracy through extensive simulations. We use our method to detect introgressed regions in modern human individuals from the 1000 Genomes Project, using a high c...Continue Reading

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