Clusters of adaptive evolution in the human genome

Laura B. Scheinfeldt, Shameek Biswas, Jennifer Madeoy, Caitlin F. Connelly, Joshua M. Akey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Considerable work has been devoted to identifying regions of the human genome that have been subjected to recent positive selection. Although detailed follow-up studies of putatively selected regions are critical for a deeper understanding of human evolutionary history, such studies have received comparably less attention. Recently, we have shown that ALMS1 has been the target of recent positive selection acting on standing variation in Eurasian populations. Here, we describe a careful follow-up analysis of genetic variation across the ALMS1 region, which unexpectedly revealed a cluster of substrates of positive selection. Specifically, through the analysis of SNP data from the HapMap and Human Genome Diversity Project-Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain samples as well sequence data from the region, we find compelling evidence for three independent and distinct signals of recent positive selection across this 3 Mb region surrounding ALMS1. Moreover, we analyzed the HapMap data to identify other putative clusters of independent selective events and conservatively discovered 19 additional clusters of adaptive evolution. This work has important implications for the interpretation of genome-scans for positive selection in humans and more broadly contributes to a better understanding of how recent positive selection has shaped genetic variation across the human genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 50
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine


  • Clustered adaptive events


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