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Natural Selection and the Distribution of Identity-by-Descent in the Human Genome

By Anders Albrechtsen, Ida Moltke and Rasmus Nielsen

Abstract

There has recently been considerable interest in detecting natural selection in the human genome. Selection will usually tend to increase identity-by-descent (IBD) among individuals in a population, and many methods for detecting recent and ongoing positive selection indirectly take advantage of this. In this article we show that excess IBD sharing is a general property of natural selection and we show that this fact makes it possible to detect several types of selection including a type that is otherwise difficult to detect: selection acting on standing genetic variation. Motivated by this, we use a recently developed method for identifying IBD sharing among individuals from genome-wide data to scan populations from the new HapMap phase 3 project for regions with excess IBD sharing in order to identify regions in the human genome that have been under strong, very recent selection. The HLA region is by far the region showing the most extreme signal, suggesting that much of the strong recent selection acting on the human genome has been immune related and acting on HLA loci. As equilibrium overdominance does not tend to increase IBD, we argue that this type of selection cannot explain our observations

Topics: Investigations
Publisher: Genetics Society of America
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2940294
Provided by: PubMed Central
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