Substructured population growth in the Ashkenazi Jews inferred with Approximate Bayesian Computation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ariella L Gladstein, Michael F Hammer


The Ashkenazi Jews (AJ) are a population isolate that have resided in Central Europe since at least the 10th century and share ancestry with both European and Middle Eastern populations. Between the 11th and 16th centuries, AJ expanded eastward leading to two culturally distinct communities, one in central Europe and one in eastern Europe. Our aim was to determine if there are genetically distinct AJ subpopulations that reflect the cultural groups, and if so, what demographic events contributed to the population differentiation. We used Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) to choose among models of AJ history and infer demographic parameter values, including divergence times, effective population size, and gene flow. For the ABC analysis we used allele frequency spectrum and identical by descent based statistics to capture information on a wide timescale. We also mitigated the effects of ascertainment bias when performing ABC on SNP array data by jointly modeling and inferring the SNP discovery. We found that the most likely model was population differentiation between the Eastern and Western AJ ~400 years ago. The differentiation between the Eastern and Western AJ could be attributed to more extreme population growth in the ...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cell Differentiation Process
Ashkenazi Jew, Follower of Religion
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Population Group
Computed (Procedure)
Gene Flow
West (Direction)

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