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We explored the role of genetic ancestry in shaping the genetic architecture of whole blood gene expression using whole genome and RNA sequencing data from 2,733 African American and Hispanic/Latino children. We find that heritability of gene expression significantly increases with greater proportion of genome-wide African ancestry and decreases with higher levels of Indigenous American ancestry. Fine-mapping of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) in individuals with predominantly African or Indigenous American ancestry revealed ancestry-specific eQTLs in over 30% of heritable genes. We leveraged our data to train genetically derived transcriptome prediction models, which identified significantly more associated genes when applied to 28 traits from a multi-ancestry population. Our findings underscore the importance of increasing representation from ancestrally diverse populations in genomic studies to enable new discoveries and ensure their equitable translation.

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