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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Global25 workshop 2: intra-European variation

Even though the Global25 focuses on world-wide human genetic diversity, it can also reveal a lot of information about genetic substructures within continental regions.

Several of the dimensions, for instance, reflect Balto-Slavic-specific genetic drift. I ensured that this would be the case by running a lot of Slavic groups in the analysis. A useful by-product of this strategy is that the Global25 is very good at exposing relatively recent intra-European genetic variation.

To see this for yourself, download the datasheet below and plug it into the PAST program, which is freely available here. Then select all of the columns by clicking on the empty tab above the labels, and choose Multivariate > Ordination > Principal Components.


You should end up with the plot below. Note that to see the group labels and outlines, you need to tick the appropriate boxes in the panel to the right of the image. To improve the experience, it might also be useful to color-code different parts of Europe, and you can do that by choosing Edit > Row colors/symbols. Of course, if you have Global25 coordinates you can add yourself to the datasheet to see where you plot.

Components 1 and 2 pack the most information and, more or less, recapitulate the geographic structure of Europe. However, many details can only be seen by plotting the less significant components. For instance, a plot of components 1 and 3 almost perfectly separates Northeastern Europe into two distinct clusters made up of the speakers of Indo-European and Finno-Ugric languages.

This plot might also be useful for exploring potential Jewish ancestry, because Ashkenazi, Italian and Sephardi Jews appear to be relatively distinct in this space. Thus, people with significant European Jewish ancestry will "pull" towards the lower left corner of the plot. For example, someone who is half Ashkenazi and half German will probably land in the empty space between the Northwest Europeans and Jews.

See also...

Global25 workshop 1: that classic West Eurasian plot

Global25 workshop 3: genes vs geography in Northern Europe

Global25 workshop 4: a neighbour joining tree

Modeling genetic ancestry with Davidski: step by step

Getting the most out of the Global25

Genetic ancestry online store (to be updated regularly)