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Publications [#346384] of Amy Goldberg

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Journal Articles

  1. Kim, J; Edge, M; Goldberg, A; Rosenberg, N, Assortative mating and the dynamical decoupling of genetic admixture levels from phenotypes that differ between source populations (September, 2019) [doi]
    (last updated on 2020/10/20)

    Abstract Source populations for an admixed population can possess distinct patterns of genotype and pheno-type at the beginning of the admixture process. Such differences are sometimes taken to serve as markers of ancestry—that is, phenotypes that are initially associated with the ancestral background in one source population are taken to reflect ancestry in that population. Examples exist, however, in which genotypes or phenotypes initially associated with ancestry in one source population have decoupled from overall admixture levels, so that they no longer serve as proxies for genetic ancestry. We develop a mechanistic model for describing the joint dynamics of admixture levels and phenotype distributions in an admixed population. The approach includes a quantitative-genetic model that relates a phenotype to underlying loci that affect its trait value. We consider three forms of mating. First, individuals might assort in a manner that is independent of the overall genetic admixture level. Second, individuals might assort by a quantitative phenotype that is initially correlated with the genetic admixture level. Third, individuals might assort by the genetic admixture level itself. Under the model, we explore the relationship between genetic admixture level and phenotype over time, studying the effect on this relationship of the genetic architecture of the phenotype. We find that the decoupling of genetic ancestry and phenotype can occur surprisingly quickly, especially if the phenotype is driven by a small number of loci. We also find that positive assortative mating attenuates the process of dissociation in relation to a scenario in which mating is random with respect to genetic admixture and with respect to phenotype. The mechanistic framework suggests that in an admixed population, a trait that initially differed between source populations might be a reliable proxy for ancestry for only a short time, especially if the trait is determined by relatively few loci. The results are potentially relevant in admixed human populations, in which phenotypes that have a perceived correlation with ancestry might have social significance as ancestry markers, despite declining correlations with ancestry over time. Author Summary Admixed populations are populations that descend from two or more populations that had been separated for a long time at the beginning of the admixture process. The source populations typically possess distinct patterns of genotype and phenotype. Hence, early in the admixture process, phenotypes of admixed individuals can provide information about the extent to which these individuals possess ancestry in a specific source population. To study correlations between admixture levels and phenotypes that differ between source populations, we construct a genetic and phenotypic model of the dynamical process of admixture. Under the model, we show that correlations between admixture levels and these phenotypes dissipate over time—especially if the genetic architecture of the phenotypes involves only a small number of loci, or if mating in the admixed population is random with respect to both the admixture levels and the phenotypes. The result has the implication that a trait that once reflected ancestry in a specific source population might lose this ancestry correlation. As a consequence, in human populations, after a sufficient length of time, salient phenotypes that can have social meaning as ancestry markers might no longer bear any relationship to genome-wide genetic ancestry.

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