Genes mirror geography within Europe

John Novembre, Toby Johnson, Katarzyna Bryc, Zoltán Kutalik, Adam R. Boyko, Adam Auton, Amit Indap, Karen S. King, Sven Bergmann, Matthew R. Nelson, Matthew Stephens, Carlos D. Bustamante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

719 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the genetic structure of human populations is of fundamental interest to medical, forensic and anthropological sciences. Advances in high-throughput genotyping technology have markedly improved our understanding of global patterns of human genetic variation and suggest the potential to use large samples to uncover variation among closely spaced populations. Here we characterize genetic variation in a sample of 3,000 European individuals genotyped at over half a million variable DNA sites in the human genome. Despite low average levels of genetic differentiation among Europeans, we find a close correspondence between genetic and geographic distances; indeed, a geographical map of Europe arises naturally as an efficient two-dimensional summary of genetic variation in Europeans. The results emphasize that when mapping the genetic basis of a disease phenotype, spurious associations can arise if genetic structure is not properly accounted for. In addition, the results are relevant to the prospects of genetic ancestry testing; an individual's DNA can be used to infer their geographic origin with surprising accuracy-often to within a few hundred kilometres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume456
Issue number7218
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2008
Externally publishedYes

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Geography
Genetic Structures
Genes
Forensic Sciences
Anthropology
DNA
Medical Genetics
Genetic Testing
Human Genome
Population
Technology
Phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Novembre, J., Johnson, T., Bryc, K., Kutalik, Z., Boyko, A. R., Auton, A., ... Bustamante, C. D. (2008). Genes mirror geography within Europe. Nature, 456(7218), 98-101. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07331

Genes mirror geography within Europe. / Novembre, John; Johnson, Toby; Bryc, Katarzyna; Kutalik, Zoltán; Boyko, Adam R.; Auton, Adam; Indap, Amit; King, Karen S.; Bergmann, Sven; Nelson, Matthew R.; Stephens, Matthew; Bustamante, Carlos D.

In: Nature, Vol. 456, No. 7218, 06.11.2008, p. 98-101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Novembre, J, Johnson, T, Bryc, K, Kutalik, Z, Boyko, AR, Auton, A, Indap, A, King, KS, Bergmann, S, Nelson, MR, Stephens, M & Bustamante, CD 2008, 'Genes mirror geography within Europe', Nature, vol. 456, no. 7218, pp. 98-101. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07331
Novembre J, Johnson T, Bryc K, Kutalik Z, Boyko AR, Auton A et al. Genes mirror geography within Europe. Nature. 2008 Nov 6;456(7218):98-101. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07331
Novembre, John ; Johnson, Toby ; Bryc, Katarzyna ; Kutalik, Zoltán ; Boyko, Adam R. ; Auton, Adam ; Indap, Amit ; King, Karen S. ; Bergmann, Sven ; Nelson, Matthew R. ; Stephens, Matthew ; Bustamante, Carlos D. / Genes mirror geography within Europe. In: Nature. 2008 ; Vol. 456, No. 7218. pp. 98-101.
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