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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2014 Dec;29:22-30. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2014.07.007. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Impact of range expansions on current human genomic diversity.

Author information

1
CMPG, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, 3012 Bern, Switzerland; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 105 Lausanne, Switzerland.
2
CMPG, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, 3012 Bern, Switzerland; Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, 105 Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address: Laurent.excoffier@iee.unibe.ch.

Abstract

The patterns of population genetic diversity depend to a large extent on past demographic history. Most human populations are known to have gone recently through a series of range expansions within and out of Africa, but these spatial expansions are rarely taken into account when interpreting observed genomic diversity, possibly because they are difficult to model. Here we review available evidence in favour of range expansions out of Africa, and we discuss several of their consequences on neutral and selected diversity, including some recent observations on an excess of rare neutral and selected variants in large samples. We further show that in spatially subdivided populations, the sampling strategy can severely impact the resulting genetic diversity and be confounded by past demography. We conclude that ignoring the spatial structure of human population can lead to some misinterpretations of extant genetic diversity.

PMID:
25156518
DOI:
10.1016/j.gde.2014.07.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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