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Quantifying the increase in average human heterozygosity due to urbanisation

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1097-102
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Abstract

The human population is undergoing a major transition from a historical metapopulation structure of relatively isolated small communities to an outbred structure. This process is predicted to increase average individual genome-wide heterozygosity (h) and could have effects on health. We attempted to quantify this increase in mean h. We initially sampled 1001 examinees from a metapopulation of nine isolated villages on five Dalmatian islands (Croatia). Village populations had high levels of genetic differentiation, endogamy and consanguinity. We then selected 166 individuals with highly specific personal genetic histories to form six subsamples, which could be ranked a priori by their predicted level of outbreeding. The measure h was then estimated in the 166 examinees by genotyping 1184 STR/indel markers and using two different computation methods. Compared to the value of mean h in the least outbred sample, values of h in the remaining samples increased successively with predicted outbreeding by 0.023, 0.038, 0.058, 0.067 and 0.079 (P

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