Population Aspects of Consanguinity
Population-Genetic Influences on Genomic Estimates of the Inbreeding Coefficient: A Global PerspectivePemberton T.J.a · Rosenberg N.A.b
aDepartment of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man., Canada; bDepartment of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., USA
Dr. Trevor J. Pemberton
Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
University of Manitoba, 745 Bannatyne Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 (Canada)
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Background/Aims: Culturally driven marital practices provide a key instance of an interaction between social and genetic processes in shaping patterns of human genetic variation, producing, for example, increased identity by descent through consanguineous marriage. A commonly used measure to quantify identity by descent in an individual is the inbreeding coefficient, a quantity that reflects not only consanguinity, but also other aspects of kinship in the population to which the individual belongs. Here, in populations worldwide, we examine the relationship between genomic estimates of the inbreeding coefficient and population patterns in genetic variation. Methods: Using genotypes at 645 microsatellites, we compare inbreeding coefficients from 5,043 individuals representing 237 populations worldwide to demographic consanguinity frequency estimates available for 26 populations as well as to other quantities that can illuminate population-genetic influences on inbreeding coefficients. Results: We observe higher inbreeding coefficient estimates in populations and geographic regions with known high levels of consanguinity or genetic isolation and in populations with an increased effect of genetic drift and decreased genetic diversity with increasing distance from Africa. For the small number of populations with specific consanguinity estimates, we find a correlation between inbreeding coefficients and consanguinity frequency (r = 0.349, p = 0.040). Conclusions: The results emphasize the importance of both consanguinity and population-genetic factors in influencing variation in inbreeding coefficients, and they provide insight into factors useful for assessing the effect of consanguinity on genomic patterns in different populations.
© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel
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