An empirical approach to demographic inference
Peter L. Ralph
(Submitted on 21 May 2015)
Inference with population genetic data usually treats the population pedigree as a nuisance parameter, the unobserved product of a past history of random mating. However, the history of genetic relationships in a given population is a fixed, unobserved object, and so an alternative approach is to treat this network of relationships as a complex object we wish to learn about, by observing how genomes have been noisily passed down through it. This paper explores this point of view, showing how to translate questions about population genetic data into calculations with a Poisson process of mutations on all ancestral genomes. This method is applied to give a robust interpretation to the f4 statistic used to identify admixture, and to design a new statistic that measures covariances in mean times to most recent common ancestor between two pairs of sequences. The method more generally interprets population genetic statistics in terms of sums of specific functions over ancestral genomes, thereby providing concrete, broadly interpretable interpretations for these statistics. This provides a method for describing demographic history without simplified demographic models. More generally, it brings into focus the population pedigree, which is averaged over in model-based demographic inference.
Inference of Ancestral Recombination Graphs through Topological Data Analysis
Pablo G. Camara, Arnold J. Levine, Raul Rabadan
(Submitted on 21 May 2015)
The recent explosion of genomic data has underscored the need for interpretable and comprehensive analyses that can capture complex phylogenetic relations within and across species. Recombination, reassortment, horizontal gene transfer, and species hybridization constitute examples of pervasive biological phenomena that cannot be captured by tree-like representations. Starting from tens or hundreds of genomes, we are interested in the reconstruction of potential evolutionary histories leading to the observed data. Ancestral recombination graphs (ARGs) represent potential histories that explicitly accommodate recombination and mutation events across orthologous genomes. However, ARGs are computationally costly to reconstruct and usually become infeasible for more than few tens of genomes. Recently, Topological Data Analysis (TDA) methods have been proposed as robust and scalable methods that can capture the genetic scale and frequency of recombination. We build on previous TDA developments for detecting and quantifying recombination, and present a novel framework that can be applied to hundreds of genomes and can be interpreted in terms of minimal histories of mutation and recombination events, quantifying the scales and identifying the genomic locations of recombinations. For that aim, we extend the notion of barcodes in persistent homology, largely increasing their sensitivity to recombination, and present a new type of summary graph (topological ARG, or tARG), analogous to ARGs, that capture ensembles of minimal recombination histories. We implement this framework in a software package, called TARGet, and apply it to several examples, including small migration between different populations and horizontal evolution in finches inhabiting the Gal\’apagos Islands.
Bayesian Nonparametric Inference of Population Size Changes from Sequential Genealogies
Julia A Palacios , John Wakeley, Sohini Ramachandran
Sophisticated inferential tools coupled with the coalescent model have recently emerged for estimating past population sizes from genomic data. Accurate methods are available for data from a single locus or from independent loci. Recent methods that model recombination require small sample sizes, make constraining assumptions about population size changes, and do not report measures of uncertainty for estimates. Here, we develop a Gaussian process-based Bayesian nonparametric method coupled with a sequentially Markov coalescent model which allows accurate inference of population sizes over time from a set of genealogies. In contrast to current methods, our approach considers a broad class of recombination events, including those that do not change local genealogies. We show that our method outperforms recent likelihood-based methods that rely on discretization of the parameter space. We illustrate the application of our method to multiple demographic histories, including population bottlenecks and exponential growth. In simulation, our Bayesian approach produces point estimates four times more accurate than maximum likelihood estimation (based on the sum of absolute differences between the truth and the estimated values). Further, our method’s credible intervals for population size as a function of time cover 90 percent of true values across multiple demographic scenarios, enabling formal hypothesis testing about population size differences over time. Using genealogies estimated with ARGweaver, we apply our method to European and Yoruban samples from the 1000 Genomes Project and confirm key known aspects of population size history over the past 150,000 years.
Detecting recent selective sweeps while controlling for mutation rate and background selection
Christian D. Huber , Michael DeGiorgio , Ines Hellmann , Rasmus Nielsen
A composite likelihood ratio test implemented in the program SweepFinder is a commonly used method for scanning a genome for recent selective sweeps. SweepFinder uses information on the spatial pattern of the site frequency spectrum (SFS) around the selected locus. To avoid confounding effects of background selection and variation in the mutation process along the genome, the method is typically applied only to sites that are variable within species. However, the power to detect and localize selective sweeps can be greatly improved if invariable sites are also included in the analysis. In the spirit of a Hudson-Kreitman-Aguadé test, we suggest to add fixed differences relative to an outgroup to account for variation in mutation rate, thereby facilitating more robust and powerful analyses. We also develop a method for including background selection modeled as a local reduction in the effective population size. Using simulations we show that these advances lead to a gain in power while maintaining robustness to mutation rate variation. Furthermore, the new method also provides more precise localization of the causative mutation than methods using the spatial pattern of segregating sites alone.
Detecting genomic signatures of natural selection with principal component analysis: application to the 1000 Genomes data
Nicolas Duforet-Frebourg, Guillaume Laval, Eric Bazin, Michael G.B. Blum
(Submitted on 8 Apr 2015)
Large-scale genomic data offers the perspective to decipher the genetic architecture of natural selection. To characterize natural selection, various analytical methods for detecting candidate genomic regions have been developed. We propose to perform genome-wide scans of natural selection using principal component analysis. We show that the common Fst index of genetic differentiation between populations can be viewed as a proportion of variance explained by the principal components. Looking at the correlations between genetic variants and each principal component provides a conceptual framework to detect genetic variants involved in local adaptation without any prior definition of populations. To validate the PCA-based approach, we consider the 1000 Genomes data (phase 1) after removal of recently admixed individuals resulting in 850 individuals coming from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The number of genetic variants is of the order of 36 millions obtained with a low-coverage sequencing depth (3X). The correlations between genetic variation and each principal component provide well-known targets for positive selection (EDAR, SLC24A5, SLC45A2, DARC), and also new candidate genes (APPBPP2, TP1A1, RTTN, KCNMA, MYO5C) and non-coding RNAs. In addition to identifying genes involved in biological adaptation, we identify two biological pathways involved in polygenic adaptation that are related to the innate immune system (beta defensins) and to lipid metabolism (fatty acid omega oxidation). PCA-based statistics retrieve well-known signals of human adaptation, which is encouraging for future whole-genome sequencing project, especially in non-model species for which defining populations can be difficult. Genome scan based on PCA is implemented in the open-source and freely available PCAdapt software.
Fast principal components analysis reveals independent evolution of ADH1B gene in Europe and East Asia
Kevin J Galinsky , Gaurav Bhatia , Po-Ru Loh , Stoyan Georgiev , Sayan Mukherjee , Nick J Patterson , Alkes L Price
Principal components analysis (PCA) is a widely used tool for inferring population structure and correcting confounding in genetic data. We introduce a new algorithm, FastPCA, that leverages recent advances in random matrix theory to accurately approximate top PCs while reducing time and memory cost from quadratic to linear in the number of individuals, a computational improvement of many orders of magnitude. We apply FastPCA to a cohort of 54,734 European Americans, identifying 5 distinct subpopulations spanning the top 4 PCs. Using a new test for natural selection based on population differentiation along these PCs, we replicate previously known selected loci and identify three new signals of selection, including selection in Europeans at the ADH1B gene. The coding variant rs1229984 has previously been associated to alcoholism and shown to be under selection in East Asians; we show that it is a rare example of independent evolution on two continents.
Predicting Carriers of Ongoing Selective Sweeps Without Knowledge of the Favored Allele
Roy Ronen , Glenn Tesler , Ali Akbari , Shay Zakov , Noah A Rosenberg , Vineet Bafna
Methods for detecting the genomic signatures of natural selection have been heavily studied, and they have been successful in identifying many selective sweeps. For most of these sweeps, the favored allele remains unknown, making it difficult to distinguish carriers of the sweep from non-carriers. In an ongoing selective sweep, carriers of the favored allele are likely to contain a future most recent common ancestor. Therefore, identifying them may prove useful in predicting the evolutionary trajectory — for example, in contexts involving drug-resistant pathogen strains or cancer subclones. The main contribution of this paper is the development and analysis of a new statistic, the Haplotype Allele Frequency (HAF) score. The HAF score, assigned to individual haplotypes in a sample, naturally captures many of the properties shared by haplotypes carrying a favored allele. We provide a theoretical framework for computing expected HAF scores under different evolutionary scenarios, and we validate the theoretical predictions with simulations. As an application of HAF score computations, we develop an algorithm (PreCIOSS: Predicting Carriers of Ongoing Selective Sweeps) to identify carriers of the favored allele in selective sweeps, and we demonstrate its power on simulations of both hard and soft sweeps, as well as on data from well-known sweeps in human populations.