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A hidden Markov model approach for simultaneously estimating local ancestry and admixture time using next generation sequence data in samples of arbitrary ploidy

By Russell Corbett-Detig, Rasmus Nielsen

Posted 15 Jul 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/064238 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006529)

Admixture-the mixing of genomes from divergent populations-is increasingly appreciated as a central process in evolution. To characterize and quantify patterns of admixture across the genome, a number of methods have been developed for local ancestry inference. However, existing approaches have a number of shortcomings. First, all local ancestry inference methods require some prior assumption about the expected ancestry tract lengths. Second, existing methods generally require genotypes, which is not feasible to obtain for many next-generation sequencing projects. Third, many methods assume samples are diploid, however a wide variety of sequencing applications will fail to meet this assumption. To address these issues, we introduce a novel hidden Markov model for estimating local ancestry that models the read pileup data, rather than genotypes, is generalized to arbitrary ploidy, and can estimate the time since admixture during local ancestry inference. We demonstrate that our method can simultaneously estimate the time since admixture and local ancestry with good accuracy, and that it performs well on samples of high ploidy-i.e. 100 or more chromosomes. As this method is very general, we expect it will be useful for local ancestry inference in a wider variety of populations than what previously has been possible. We then applied our method to pooled sequencing data derived from populations of Drosophila melanogaster on an ancestry cline on the east coast of North America. We find that regions of local recombination rates are negatively correlated with the proportion of African ancestry, suggesting that selection against foreign ancestry is the least efficient in low recombination regions. Finally we show that clinal outlier loci are enriched for genes associated with gene regulatory functions, consistent with a role of regulatory evolution in ecological adaptation of admixed D. melanogaster populations. Our results illustrate the potential of local ancestry inference for elucidating fundamental evolutionary processes.

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