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PLoS Genet. 2014 Aug 7;10(8):e1004412. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004412. eCollection 2014 Aug.

A population genetic signal of polygenic adaptation.

Author information

1
Graduate Group in Population Biology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America; Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America; Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.
2
Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America; Department of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Adaptation in response to selection on polygenic phenotypes may occur via subtle allele frequencies shifts at many loci. Current population genomic techniques are not well posed to identify such signals. In the past decade, detailed knowledge about the specific loci underlying polygenic traits has begun to emerge from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here we combine this knowledge from GWAS with robust population genetic modeling to identify traits that may have been influenced by local adaptation. We exploit the fact that GWAS provide an estimate of the additive effect size of many loci to estimate the mean additive genetic value for a given phenotype across many populations as simple weighted sums of allele frequencies. We use a general model of neutral genetic value drift for an arbitrary number of populations with an arbitrary relatedness structure. Based on this model, we develop methods for detecting unusually strong correlations between genetic values and specific environmental variables, as well as a generalization of [Q(ST)/F(ST)] comparisons to test for over-dispersion of genetic values among populations. Finally we lay out a framework to identify the individual populations or groups of populations that contribute to the signal of overdispersion. These tests have considerably greater power than their single locus equivalents due to the fact that they look for positive covariance between like effect alleles, and also significantly outperform methods that do not account for population structure. We apply our tests to the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP) dataset using GWAS data for height, skin pigmentation, type 2 diabetes, body mass index, and two inflammatory bowel disease datasets. This analysis uncovers a number of putative signals of local adaptation, and we discuss the biological interpretation and caveats of these results.

PMID:
25102153
PMCID:
PMC4125079
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1004412
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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