Article: article from journal or magazin.
Complex genetic patterns in human arise from a simple range-expansion model over continental landmasses.
Although it is generally accepted that geography is a major factor shaping human genetic differentiation, it is still disputed how much of this differentiation is a result of a simple process of isolation-by-distance, and if there are factors generating distinct clusters of genetic similarity. We address this question using a geographically explicit simulation framework coupled with an Approximate Bayesian Computation approach. Based on six simple summary statistics only, we estimated the most probable demographic parameters that shaped modern human evolution under an isolation by distance scenario, and found these were the following: an initial population in East Africa spread and grew from 4000 individuals to 5.7 million in about 132 000 years. Subsequent simulations with these estimates followed by cluster analyses produced results nearly identical to those obtained in real data. Thus, a simple diffusion model from East Africa explains a large portion of the genetic diversity patterns observed in modern humans. We argue that a model of isolation by distance along the continental landmasses might be the relevant null model to use when investigating selective effects in humans and probably many other species.
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Medicine
Web of science
Last modification date