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Nature. 2015 Mar 19;519(7543):309-14. doi: 10.1038/nature14230.

The fine-scale genetic structure of the British population.

Author information

1
1] Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia [2] University of Melbourne, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia [3] University of Oxford, Department of Oncology, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK.
2
University of Oxford, Department of Oncology, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK.
3
University College London Genetics Institute, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
4
Counsyl, 180 Kimball Way, South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.
5
University of Oxford, Institute of Archaeology, 36 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PG, UK.
6
University of Bristol, Department of Mathematics, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TW, UK.
7
College of Medicine, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.
8
The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.
9
University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 20, Helsinki, FI-00014, Finland.
10
University of Oxford, Department of Statistics, 1 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG, UK.
11
University of Oxford, University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PW, UK.
12
1] The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK [2] University of Oxford, Department of Statistics, 1 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG, UK.

Abstract

Fine-scale genetic variation between human populations is interesting as a signature of historical demographic events and because of its potential for confounding disease studies. We use haplotype-based statistical methods to analyse genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from a carefully chosen geographically diverse sample of 2,039 individuals from the United Kingdom. This reveals a rich and detailed pattern of genetic differentiation with remarkable concordance between genetic clusters and geography. The regional genetic differentiation and differing patterns of shared ancestry with 6,209 individuals from across Europe carry clear signals of historical demographic events. We estimate the genetic contribution to southeastern England from Anglo-Saxon migrations to be under half, and identify the regions not carrying genetic material from these migrations. We suggest significant pre-Roman but post-Mesolithic movement into southeastern England from continental Europe, and show that in non-Saxon parts of the United Kingdom, there exist genetically differentiated subgroups rather than a general 'Celtic' population.

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PMID:
25788095
PMCID:
PMC4632200
DOI:
10.1038/nature14230
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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