2,044 research outputs found

    Inference of population splits and mixtures from genome-wide allele frequency data

    Full text link
    Many aspects of the historical relationships between populations in a species are reflected in genetic data. Inferring these relationships from genetic data, however, remains a challenging task. In this paper, we present a statistical model for inferring the patterns of population splits and mixtures in multiple populations. In this model, the sampled populations in a species are related to their common ancestor through a graph of ancestral populations. Using genome-wide allele frequency data and a Gaussian approximation to genetic drift, we infer the structure of this graph. We applied this method to a set of 55 human populations and a set of 82 dog breeds and wild canids. In both species, we show that a simple bifurcating tree does not fully describe the data; in contrast, we infer many migration events. While some of the migration events that we find have been detected previously, many have not. For example, in the human data we infer that Cambodians trace approximately 16% of their ancestry to a population ancestral to other extant East Asian populations. In the dog data, we infer that both the boxer and basenji trace a considerable fraction of their ancestry (9% and 25%, respectively) to wolves subsequent to domestication, and that East Asian toy breeds (the Shih Tzu and the Pekingese) result from admixture between modern toy breeds and "ancient" Asian breeds. Software implementing the model described here, called TreeMix, is available at http://treemix.googlecode.comComment: 28 pages, 6 figures in main text. Attached supplement is 22 pages, 15 figures. This is an updated version of the preprint available at http://precedings.nature.com/documents/6956/version/

    Language extinction and linguistic fronts

    Get PDF
    Language diversity has become greatly endangered in the past centuries owing to processes of language shift from indigenous languages to other languages that are seen as socially and economically more advantageous, resulting in the death or doom of minority languages. In this paper, we define a new language competition model that can describe the historical decline of minority languages in competition with more advantageous languages. We then implement this non-spatial model as an interaction term in a reaction-diffusion system to model the evolution of the two competing languages. We use the results to estimate the speed at which the more advantageous language spreads geographically, resulting in the shrinkage of the area of dominance of the minority language. We compare the results from our model with the observed retreat in the area of influence of the Welsh language in the UK, obtaining a good agreement between the model and the observed data

    An evolutionary model explaining the Neolithic transition from egalitarianism to leadership and despotism.

    Get PDF
    The Neolithic was marked by a transition from small and relatively egalitarian groups, to much larger groups with increased stratification. But the dynamics of thisremain poorly understood. It is hard to see how despotism can arise without coercion, yet coercion could not easily have occurred in an egalitarian setting. Using a quanti-tative model of evolution in a patch-structured population, we demonstrate that the interaction between demographic and ecological factors can overcome this conundrum.We model the co-evolution of individual preferences for hierarchy alongside the degree of despotism of leaders, and the dispersal preferences of followers. We show that voluntary leadership without coercion can evolve in small groups, when leaders help to solve coordination problems related to resource production. An example is coordinating construction of an irrigation system. Our model predicts that the transition to larger despotic groups will then occur when: 1. surplus resources lead to demographicexpansion of groups, removing the viability of an acephalous niche in the same areaand so locking individuals into hierarchy; 2. high dispersal costs limit followers' abilityto escape a despot. Empirical evidence suggests that these conditions were likely metfor the first time during the subsistence intensification of the Neolithic

    The Role of Inbreeding in the Extinction of a European Royal Dynasty

    Get PDF
    The kings of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty (1516–1700) frequently married close relatives in such a way that uncle-niece, first cousins and other consanguineous unions were prevalent in that dynasty. In the historical literature, it has been suggested that inbreeding was a major cause responsible for the extinction of the dynasty when the king Charles II, physically and mentally disabled, died in 1700 and no children were born from his two marriages, but this hypothesis has not been examined from a genetic perspective. In this article, this hypothesis is checked by computing the inbreeding coefficient (F) of the Spanish Habsburg kings from an extended pedigree up to 16 generations in depth and involving more than 3,000 individuals. The inbreeding coefficient of the Spanish Habsburg kings increased strongly along generations from 0.025 for king Philip I, the founder of the dynasty, to 0.254 for Charles II and several members of the dynasty had inbreeding coefficients higher than 0.20. In addition to inbreeding due to unions between close relatives, ancestral inbreeding from multiple remote ancestors makes a substantial contribution to the inbreeding coefficient of most kings. A statistically significant inbreeding depression for survival to 10 years is detected in the progenies of the Spanish Habsburg kings. The results indicate that inbreeding at the level of first cousin (F = 0.0625) exerted an adverse effect on survival of 17.8%±12.3. It is speculated that the simultaneous occurrence in Charles II (F = 0.254) of two different genetic disorders: combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis, determined by recessive alleles at two unlinked loci, could explain most of the complex clinical profile of this king, including his impotence/infertility which in last instance led to the extinction of the dynasty

    The biological origin of linguistic diversity

    Get PDF
    In contrast with animal communication systems, diversity is characteristic of almost every aspect of human language. Languages variously employ tones, clicks, or manual signs to signal differences in meaning; some languages lack the noun-verb distinction (e.g., Straits Salish), whereas others have a proliferation of fine-grained syntactic categories (e.g., Tzeltal); and some languages do without morphology (e.g., Mandarin), while others pack a whole sentence into a single word (e.g., Cayuga). A challenge for evolutionary biology is to reconcile the diversity of languages with the high degree of biological uniformity of their speakers. Here, we model processes of language change and geographical dispersion and find a consistent pressure for flexible learning, irrespective of the language being spoken. This pressure arises because flexible learners can best cope with the observed high rates of linguistic change associated with divergent cultural evolution following human migration. Thus, rather than genetic adaptations for specific aspects of language, such as recursion, the coevolution of genes and fast-changing linguistic structure provides the biological basis for linguistic diversity. Only biological adaptations for flexible learning combined with cultural evolution can explain how each child has the potential to learn any human language

    Measurement of the Stray Light in the Advanced Virgo Input Mode Cleaner Cavity using an instrumented baffle

    Full text link
    A new instrumented baffle was installed in Spring 2021 at Virgo surrounding the suspended mirror in the input mode cleaner triangular cavity. It serves as a demonstrator of the technology designed to instrument the baffles in the main arms in the near future. We present, for the first time, results on the measured scattered light distribution inside the cavity as determined by the new device using data collected between May and July 2021, with Virgo in commissioning phase and operating with an input laser power in the cavity of 28.5~W. The sensitivity of the baffle is discussed and the data is compared to scattered light simulations.Comment: 4 pages, 5 figures, 1 tabl

    LOSITAN: A workbench to detect molecular adaptation based on a Fst-outlier method

    Get PDF
    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Testing for selection is becoming one of the most important steps in the analysis of multilocus population genetics data sets. Existing applications are difficult to use, leaving many non-trivial, error-prone tasks to the user.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Here we present LOSITAN, a selection detection workbench based on a well evaluated <it>F</it><sub><it>st</it></sub>-outlier detection method. LOSITAN greatly facilitates correct approximation of model parameters (e.g., genome-wide average, neutral <it>F</it><sub><it>st</it></sub>), provides data import and export functions, iterative contour smoothing and generation of graphics in a easy to use graphical user interface. LOSITAN is able to use modern multi-core processor architectures by locally parallelizing fdist, reducing computation time by half in current dual core machines and with almost linear performance gains in machines with more cores.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>LOSITAN makes selection detection feasible to a much wider range of users, even for large population genomic datasets, by both providing an easy to use interface and essential functionality to complete the whole selection detection process.</p

    A Worldwide Phylogeography for the Human X Chromosome

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: We reasoned that by identifying genetic markers on human X chromosome regions where recombination is rare or absent, we should be able to construct X chromosome genealogies analogous to those based on Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms, with the advantage of providing information about both male and female components of the population. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified a 47 Kb interval containing an Alu insertion polymorphism (DXS225) and four microsatellites in complete linkage disequilibrium in a low recombination rate region of the long arm of the human X chromosome. This haplotype block was studied in 667 males from the HGDP-CEPH Human Genome Diversity Panel. The haplotypic diversity was highest in Africa (0.992+/-0.0025) and lowest in the Americas (0.839+/-0.0378), where no insertion alleles of DXS225 were observed. Africa shared few haplotypes with other geographical areas, while those exhibited significant sharing among themselves. Median joining networks revealed that the African haplotypes were numerous, occupied the periphery of the graph and had low frequency, whereas those from the other continents were few, central and had high frequency. Altogether, our data support a single origin of modern man in Africa and migration to occupy the other continents by serial founder effects. Coalescent analysis permitted estimation of the time of the most recent common ancestor as 182,000 years (56,700-479,000) and the estimated time of the DXS225 Alu insertion of 94,400 years (24,300-310,000). These dates are fully compatible with the current widely accepted scenario of the origin of modern mankind in Africa within the last 195,000 years and migration out-of-Africa circa 55,000-65,000 years ago. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A haplotypic block combining an Alu insertion polymorphism and four microsatellite markers on the human X chromosome is a useful marker to evaluate genetic diversity of human populations and provides a highly informative tool for evolutionary studies
    corecore