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Thread: Which has greater autosomal genetic diversity: Europe or China?

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    Which has greater autosomal genetic diversity: Europe or China?

    Are intra-European genetic differences greater than intra-Chinese genetic differences?

    Differences between geographically distinct groups, such as: Northern vs. Southern, Western vs. Eastern, South-Western vs. North-Eastern, South-Eastern vs. North-Western respectively Europeans and Chinese.

    Obviously several groups are genetic outliers in both areas. What if we exclude outliers?
    Last edited by Tomenable; 09-11-2016 at 05:47 PM.

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    China has more inhabitants than Europe, and a territory comparable in size to Europe:


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    AFAIK the Chinese are a mostly Neolithic-descended population, without any Post-Neolithic replacement. On the other hand, in Europe there was also a Post-Neolithic, Bronze Age replacement and a process of homogenization, caused by the massive migration of Indo-Europeans from the Steppe. So Europeans are generally a younger population, and thus I guess that they should be even more homogeneous.

    See the most recent summary of Europe's population history:

    http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/e...72926.full.pdf

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    OK, I made a comparison (based on data from this graph):

    https://jaymans.files.wordpress.com/...tances-map.jpg

    Left side (map) = geographical distances (sampling locations)

    Right side (graph) = genetical distances between populations



    ^^^
    Conclusion:


    Europeans are about as close to each other, as are the Chinese (+ Koreans + Japanese).

    However, when we exclude "genetic outliers" among Europeans, such as:

    - Komi and Mari
    - Sardinians
    - the Adygei
    - Lapps (Sami)

    Then after such exclusion, the rest of Europeans are more closely related than Chinese.

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    Interesting question.

    I'm not sure it makes sense to exclude peripheral European groups while including all the Chinese minority groups and even Koreans and Japanese, though.

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    Fst-distances are easily inflated by drift and bottlenecks, which don't really tell of genetic diversity (if you put something like a Friuli Venezia Giulian isolate population in European sample it'll be more "distant" from average than Sardinians or Chuvash fst-wise). You need to look variant counts and allelic sharing, and the dataset needs to be 1000genomes or something else with millions of markers. But your conclusion about China being more diverse could still be right, even if discounting the obvious outliers like Uygurs. Look at these.


    a, Polymorphic variants within sampled populations. The area of each pie is proportional to the number of polymorphisms within a population. Pies are divided into four slices, representing variants private to a population (darker colour unique to population), private to a continental area (lighter colour shared across continental group), shared across continental areas (light grey), and shared across all continents (dark grey). Dashed lines indicate populations sampled outside of their ancestral continental region. b, The number of variant sites per genome. c, The average number of singletons per genome.


    a, Genotype covariance (above diagonal) and sharing of f2 variants (below diagonal) between pairs of individuals. b, Quantification of average f2 sharing between populations. Each row represents the distribution of f2 variants shared between individuals from the population indicated on the left to individuals from each of the sampled populations. c, The average number of f2 variants per haploid genome. d, The inferred age of f2 variants, as estimated from shared haplotype lengths, with black dots indicating the median value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalophias View Post
    Interesting question.

    I'm not sure it makes sense to exclude peripheral European groups while including all the Chinese minority groups and even Koreans and Japanese, though.
    What about Kalmyks in Europe (genetically East Asian?) and Tajiks in China (mostly West Eurasian?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaikorth View Post
    Fst-distances are easily inflated by drift and bottlenecks, which don't really tell of genetic diversity (if you put something like a Friuli Venezia Giulian isolate population in European sample it'll be more "distant" from average than Sardinians or Chuvash fst-wise). You need to look variant counts and allelic sharing, and the dataset needs to be 1000genomes or something else with millions of markers. But your conclusion about China being more diverse could still be right, even if discounting the obvious outliers like Uygurs. Look at these.
    I don't understand why Fst distances cannot be used to infer genetic diversity. I know that Fst can be inflated by drift, because it causes fixation of certain alleles in the gene pool. But isn't drift what causes genetic diversity in the first place? One argument is that out-of-africa populations are differentiated today because of genetic drift due to serial founder effect, bottleneck, etc..

    Following the example of Friuli Venezia Giulian, since they are relatively isolated and experienced genetic drift, their genetic makeup will be quite different compared to the rest of Europe. This in turn results in increasing diversity within European population. So, it brings back to my point that Fst distances should be able to measure populations diversity.

    What is the general opinion on this?
    Last edited by rasa.sayange36; 07-19-2018 at 03:25 AM.

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