Genetic Adaptations to Differnt Habitats and the Suscesptiblity to Common Diseases

Wednesdays@NICO Seminar, Noon, February 18 2009, Chambers Hall, Lower Level

Prof. Anna Di Rienzo, University of Chicago


Evolutionary pressures due to variation in climate and diet influence phenotypic variation among and within species and have been hypothesized to influence variation in several human phenotypes including body shape and size and pigmentation. We used genotype data for 61 populations (including 52 populations from the Human Genome Diversity Project panel) from Illumina HumanHap650Y SNP arrays to detect signals of selection with climate and subsistence variables on a genome-wide scale. We found an excess of signals of selection for genic SNPs, in general, and non-synonymous SNPs, in particular. We leveraged results from genome-wide association studies to investigate whether sets of SNPs implicated in complex phenotypes and disease traits have been subject to spatially varying selection. We found evidence for selection with climate on the sets of SNPs associated with several traits, including celiac disease, prostate cancer and skin pigmentation and with subsistence for type 2 diabetes and lipid levels.