While South Americans are underrepresented in human genomic diversity studies, Brazil has been a classical model for population genetics studies on admixture. We present the results of the EPIGEN Brazil Initiative, the most comprehensive up-to-date genomic analysis of any Latin-American population. A population-based genomewide analysis of 6,487 individuals was performed in the context of worldwide genomic diversity to elucidate how ancestry, kinship, and inbreeding interact in three populations with different histories from the Northeast (African ancestry: 50%), Southeast, and South (both with European ancestry >70%) of Brazil. We showed that ancestry-positive assortative mating permeated Brazilian history. We traced European ancestry in the Southeast/South to a wider European/Middle Eastern region with respect to the Northeast, where ancestry seems restricted to Iberia. By developing an approximate Bayesian computation framework, we infer more recent European immigration to the Southeast/South than to the Northeast. Also, the observed low Native-American ancestry (6-8%) was mostly introduced in different regions of Brazil soon after the European Conquest. We broadened our understanding of the African diaspora, the major destination of which was Brazil, by revealing that Brazilians display two within-Africa ancestry components: one associated with non-Bantu/western Africans (more evident in the Northeast and African Americans) and one associated with Bantu/eastern Africans (more present in the Southeast/ South). Furthermore, the whole-genome analysis of 30 individuals (42-fold deep coverage) shows that continental admixture rather than local post-Columbian history is the main and complex determinant of the individual amount of deleterious genotypes.Latin America | population genetics | Salvador SCAALA | Bambuí Cohort Study of Ageing | Pelotas Birth Cohort Study L atin Americans, who are classical models of the effects of admixture in human populations (1, 2), remain underrepresented in studies of human genomic diversity, notwithstanding recent studies (3, 4). Indeed, no large genome-wide study on admixed South Americans has been conducted so far. Brazil is the largest and most populous Latin-American country. Its over 200 million inhabitants are the product of post-Columbian admixture between Amerindians, Europeans colonizers or immigrants, and African slaves (1). Interestingly, Brazil was the destiny of nearly 40% of the African diaspora, receiving seven times more slaves than the United States (nearly 4 million vs. 600,000).Here, we present results of the EPIGEN Brazil Initiative (https:// epigen.grude.ufmg.br), the most comprehensive up-to-date genomic analysis of a Latin-American population. We genotyped nearly 2.2 million SNPs in 6,487 admixed individuals from three population-based cohorts from different regions with distinct demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and sequenced the whole genome of 30 individuals from these populations at an To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: edutars@ic...
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have emerged as an important tool for discovering regions of the genome that harbor genetic variants that confer risk for different types of cancers. The success of GWAS in the last 3 years is due to the convergence of new technologies that can genotype hundreds of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphism markers together with comprehensive annotation of genetic variation. This approach has provided the opportunity to scan across the genome in a sufficiently large set of cases and controls without a set of prior hypotheses in search of susceptibility alleles with low effect sizes. Generally, the susceptibility alleles discovered thus far are common, namely, with a frequency in one or more population of >10% and each allele confers a small contribution to the overall risk for the disease. For nearly all regions conclusively identified by GWAS, the per allele effect sizes estimated are <1.3. Consequently, the findings of GWAS underscore the complex nature of cancer and have focused attention on a subset of the genetic variants that comprise the genomic architecture of each type of cancer, which already can differ substantially by the number of regions associated with specific types of cancer. For instance, in prostate cancer, there could be >30 distinct regions harboring common susceptibility alleles identified by GWAS, whereas in lung cancer, a disease strongly driven by exposure to tobacco products, so far, only three regions have been conclusively established. To date, >85 regions have been conclusively associated in over a dozen different cancers, yet no more than five regions have been associated with more than one distinct cancer type. GWAS are an important discovery tool that require extensive follow-up to map each region, investigate the biological mechanism underpinning the association and eventually test the optimal markers for assessing risk for a disease or its outcome, such as in pharmacogenomics, the study of the effect of genetic variation on pharmacological interventions. The success of GWAS has opened new horizons for exploration and highlighted the complex genomic architecture of disease susceptibility.
The Transatlantic Slave Trade transported more than 9 million Africans to the Americas between the early 16th and the mid-19th centuries. We performed a genome-wide analysis using 6,267 individuals from 25 populations to infer how different African groups contributed to North-, South-American, and Caribbean populations, in the context of geographic and geopolitical factors, and compared genetic data with demographic history records of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. We observed that West-Central Africa and Western Africa-associated ancestry clusters are more prevalent in northern latitudes of the Americas, whereas the South/East Africa-associated ancestry cluster is more prevalent in southern latitudes of the Americas. This pattern results from geographic and geopolitical factors leading to population differentiation. However, there is a substantial decrease in the between-population differentiation of the African gene pool within the Americas, when compared with the regions of origin from Africa, underscoring the importance of historical factors favoring admixture between individuals with different African origins in the New World. This between-population homogenization in the Americas is consistent with the excess of West-Central Africa ancestry (the most prevalent in the Americas) in the United States and Southeast-Brazil, with respect to historical-demography expectations. We also inferred that in most of the Americas, intercontinental admixture intensification occurred between 1750 and 1850, which correlates strongly with the peak of arrivals from Africa. This study contributes with a population genetics perspective to the ongoing social, cultural, and political debate regarding ancestry, admixture, and the mestizaje process in the Americas.
BackgroundAsthma is a chronic disease of the airways and, despite the advances in the knowledge of associated genetic regions in recent years, their mechanisms have yet to be explored. Several genome-wide association studies have been carried out in recent years, but none of these have involved Latin American populations with a high level of miscegenation, as is seen in the Brazilian population.Methods1246 children were recruited from a longitudinal cohort study in Salvador, Brazil. Asthma symptoms were identified in accordance with an International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. Following quality control, 1 877 526 autosomal SNPs were tested for association with childhood asthma symptoms by logistic regression using an additive genetic model. We complemented the analysis with an estimate of the phenotypic variance explained by common genetic variants. Replications were investigated in independent Mexican and US Latino samples.ResultsTwo chromosomal regions reached genome-wide significance level for childhood asthma symptoms: the 14q11 region flanking the DAD1 and OXA1L genes (rs1999071, MAF 0.32, OR 1.78, 95 % CI 1.45–2.18, p-value 2.83 × 10−8) and 15q22 region flanking the FOXB1 gene (rs10519031, MAF 0.04, OR 3.0, 95 % CI 2.02–4.49, p-value 6.68 × 10−8 and rs8029377, MAF 0.03, OR 2.49, 95 % CI 1.76–3.53, p-value 2.45 × 10−7). eQTL analysis suggests that rs1999071 regulates the expression of OXA1L gene. However, the original findings were not replicated in the Mexican or US Latino samples.ConclusionsWe conclude that the 14q11 and 15q22 regions may be associated with asthma symptoms in childhood.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0296-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The Brazilian population is considered to be highly admixed. The main contributing ancestral populations were European and African, with Amerindians contributing to a lesser extent. The aims of this study were to provide a resource for determining and quantifying individual continental ancestry using the smallest number of SNPs possible, thus allowing for a cost-and timeefficient strategy for genomic ancestry determination. We identified and validated a minimum set of 192 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) for the genetic ancestry determination of Brazilian populations. These markers were selected on the basis of their distribution throughout the human genome, and their capacity of being genotyped on widely available commercial platforms. We analyzed genotyping data from 6487 individuals belonging to three Brazilian cohorts. Estimates of individual admixture using this 192 AIM panels were highly correlated with estimates using~370 000 genome-wide SNPs: 91%, 92%, and 74% of, respectively, African, European, and Native American ancestry components. Besides that, 192 AIMs are well distributed among populations from these ancestral continents, allowing greater freedom in future studies with this panel regarding the choice of reference populations. We also observed that genetic ancestry inferred by AIMs provides similar association results to the one obtained using ancestry inferred by genomic data (370 K SNPs) in a simple regression model with rs1426654, related to skin pigmentation, genotypes as dependent variable. In conclusion, these markers can be used to identify and accurately quantify ancestry of Latin Americans or US Hispanics/Latino individuals, in particular in the context of fine-mapping strategies that require the quantification of continental ancestry in thousands of individuals.
As whole-genome sequencing (WGS) becomes the gold standard tool for studying population genomics and medical applications, data on diverse non-European and admixed individuals are still scarce. Here, we present a high-coverage WGS dataset of 1,171 highly admixed elderly Brazilians from a census-based cohort, providing over 76 million variants, of which ~2 million are absent from large public databases. WGS enables identification of ~2,000 previously undescribed mobile element insertions without previous description, nearly 5 Mb of genomic segments absent from the human genome reference, and over 140 alleles from HLA genes absent from public resources. We reclassify and curate pathogenicity assertions for nearly four hundred variants in genes associated with dominantly-inherited Mendelian disorders and calculate the incidence for selected recessive disorders, demonstrating the clinical usefulness of the present study. Finally, we observe that whole-genome and HLA imputation could be significantly improved compared to available datasets since rare variation represents the largest proportion of input from WGS. These results demonstrate that even smaller sample sizes of underrepresented populations bring relevant data for genomic studies, especially when exploring analyses allowed only by WGS.
BackgroundTargeted re-sequencing is one of the most powerful and widely used strategies for population genetics studies because it allows an unbiased screening for variation that is suitable for a wide variety of organisms. Examples of studies that require re-sequencing data are evolutionary inferences, epidemiological studies designed to capture rare polymorphisms responsible for complex traits and screenings for mutations in families and small populations with high incidences of specific genetic diseases. Despite the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies, Sanger sequencing is still the most popular approach in population genetics studies because of the widespread availability of automatic sequencers based on capillary electrophoresis and because it is still less prone to sequencing errors, which is critical in population genetics studies. Two popular software applications for re-sequencing studies are Phred-Phrap-Consed-Polyphred, which performs base calling, alignment, graphical edition and genotype calling and DNAsp, which performs a set of population genetics analyses. These independent tools are the start and end points of basic analyses. In between the use of these tools, there is a set of basic but error-prone tasks to be performed with re-sequencing data.ResultsIn order to assist with these intermediate tasks, we developed a pipeline that facilitates data handling typical of re-sequencing studies. Our pipeline: (1) consolidates different outputs produced by distinct Phred-Phrap-Consed contigs sharing a reference sequence; (2) checks for genotyping inconsistencies; (3) reformats genotyping data produced by Polyphred into a matrix of genotypes with individuals as rows and segregating sites as columns; (4) prepares input files for haplotype inferences using the popular software PHASE; and (5) handles PHASE output files that contain only polymorphic sites to reconstruct the inferred haplotypes including polymorphic and monomorphic sites as required by population genetics software for re-sequencing data such as DNAsp.ConclusionWe tested the pipeline in re-sequencing studies of haploid and diploid data in humans, plants, animals and microorganisms and observed that it allowed a substantial decrease in the time required for sequencing analyses, as well as being a more controlled process that eliminates several classes of error that may occur when handling datasets. The pipeline is also useful for investigators using other tools for sequencing and population genetics analyses.
BackgroundArchaeology reports millenary cultural contacts between Peruvian Coast-Andes and the Amazon Yunga, a rainforest transitional region between Andes and Lower Amazonia. To clarify the relationships between cultural and biological evolution of these populations, in particular between Amazon Yungas and Andeans, we used DNA-sequence data, a model-based Bayesian approach and several statistical validations to infer a set of demographic parameters.ResultsWe found that the genetic diversity of the Shimaa (an Amazon Yunga population) is a subset of that of Quechuas from Central-Andes. Using the Isolation-with-Migration population genetics model, we inferred that the Shimaa ancestors were a small subgroup that split less than 5300 years ago (after the development of complex societies) from an ancestral Andean population. After the split, the most plausible scenario compatible with our results is that the ancestors of Shimaas moved toward the Peruvian Amazon Yunga and incorporated the culture and language of some of their neighbors, but not a substantial amount of their genes. We validated our results using Approximate Bayesian Computations, posterior predictive tests and the analysis of pseudo-observed datasets.ConclusionsWe presented a case study in which model-based Bayesian approaches, combined with necessary statistical validations, shed light into the prehistoric demographic relationship between Andeans and a population from the Amazon Yunga. Our results offer a testable model for the peopling of this large transitional environmental region between the Andes and the Lower Amazonia. However, studies on larger samples and involving more populations of these regions are necessary to confirm if the predominant Andean biological origin of the Shimaas is the rule, and not the exception.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-014-0174-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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