Genetic genealogy comes of age: Perspectives on the use of deep-rooted pedigrees in human population genetics

Authors

  • M.H.D. Larmuseau,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Imaging and Pathology, KU Leuven, Forensic Medicine, Leuven, Belgium
    2. KU Leuven, Department of Biology, Laboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Genomics, Leuven, Belgium
    • UZ Leuven, Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, Leuven, Belgium
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  • A. Van Geystelen,

    1. UZ Leuven, Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, Leuven, Belgium
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  • M. van Oven,

    1. Department of Forensic Molecular Biology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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  • R. Decorte

    1. UZ Leuven, Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and Molecular Archaeology, Leuven, Belgium
    2. Department of Imaging and Pathology, KU Leuven, Forensic Medicine, Leuven, Belgium
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Correspondence to: Dr. Maarten Larmuseau; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Forensic Medicine, Kapucijnenvoer 33, B–3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: maarten.larmuseau@bio.kuleuven.be

ABSTRACT

In this article, we promote the implementation of extensive genealogical data in population genetic studies. Genealogical records can provide valuable information on the origin of DNA donors in a population genetic study, going beyond the commonly collected data such as residence, birthplace, language, and self-reported ethnicity. Recent studies demonstrated that extended genealogical data added to surname analysis can be crucial to detect signals of (past) population stratification and to interpret the population structure in a more objective manner. Moreover, when in-depth pedigree data are combined with haploid markers, it is even possible to disentangle signals of temporal differentiation within a population genetic structure during the last centuries. Obtaining genealogical data for all DNA donors in a population genetic study is a labor-intensive task but the vastly growing (genetic) genealogical databases, due to the broad interest of the public, are making this job more time-efficient if there is a guarantee for sufficient data quality. At the end, we discuss the advantages and pitfalls of using genealogy within sampling campaigns and we provide guidelines for future population genetic studies. Am J Phys Anthropol 150:505–511, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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