Detecting a hierarchical genetic population structure via Multi-InDel markers on the X chromosome.

Scientific reports, 2016; 6 doi:10.1038/srep32178

Authors: Fan Guang Yao, Ye Yi, Hou Yi Ping

Affiliation: Sichuan University, China; Railway Police College, China; Railway Police College, China; Sichuan University, China; Sichuan University, China

Abstract: Detecting population structure and estimating individual biogeographical ancestry are very important in population genetics studies, biomedical research and forensics. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has long been considered to be a primary ancestry-informative marker (AIM), but it is constrained by complex and time-consuming genotyping protocols. Following up on our previous study, we propose that a multi-insertion-deletion polymorphism (Multi-InDel) with multiple haplotypes can be useful in ancestry inference and hierarchical genetic population structures. A validation study for the X chromosome Multi-InDel marker (X-Multi-InDel) as a novel AIM was conducted. Genetic polymorphisms and genetic distances among three Chinese populations and 14 worldwide populations obtained from the 1000 Genomes database were analyzed. A Bayesian clustering method (STRUCTURE) was used to discern the continental origins of Europe, East Asia, and Africa. A minimal panel of ten X-Multi-InDels was verified to be sufficient to distinguish human ancestries from three major continental regions with nearly the same efficiency of the earlier panel with 21 insertion-deletion AIMs. Along with the development of more X-Multi-InDels, an approach using this novel marker has the potential for broad applicability as a cost-effective tool toward more accurate determinations of individual biogeographical ancestry and population stratification.

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