Human Genetic Diversity and the Nonexistence of Biological Races

  title={Human Genetic Diversity and the Nonexistence of Biological Races},
  author={Jeffrey C Long and Rick A. Kittles},
  journal={Human Biology},
  pages={449 - 471}
Sewall Wright's population structure statistic, FST, measured among samples of world populations is often 15% or less. This would indicate that 85% of genetic variation occurs within groups while only 15% can be attributed to allele frequency differences among groups. In this paper, we show that this low value reflects strong biases that result from violating hidden assumptions that define FST. These limitations on FST are demonstrated algebraically and in the context of analyzing dinucleotide… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Update to Long and Kittles's “Human Genetic Diversity and the Nonexistence of Biological Races” (2003): Fixation on an Index

It is found that the genetic and statistical model underlying FST does not fit well to human populations because human population structure strongly biases the outcome of analyses by violating two assumptions: first, that expected genetic diversity is the same in every population; and second, that divergence between all pairs of populations is equal and independent.

Human DNA sequences: more variation and less race.

A method of generalized hierarchical modeling is applied to two DNA data sets to see that populations differ in the amount of diversity that they harbor.

Non-Darwinian estimation: my ancestors, my genes' ancestors.

Attempts to describe the pattern of genetic variation in the human species generally, including "recreational" genomics, the genome-based estimation of the ancestry of individuals rest on subtle concepts of variation, time, and ancestry that are perhaps not widely appreciated.

Mathematical Constraints on FST: Biallelic Markers in Arbitrarily Many Populations

Examining data on human genetic variation, results obtained for population pairs are generalized to explain the generally smaller FST values between pairs of continents relative to global F ST values.

The Relationship Between FST and the Frequency of the Most Frequent Allele

The relationship between FST and the frequency of the most frequent allele is examined, demonstrating that the range of values that FST can take is restricted considerably by the allele-frequency distribution and providing a conceptual basis for understanding the dependence of FST on allele frequencies and genetic diversity.

Impact of human population history on distributions of individual-level genetic distance

This work considers a range of models of population history and, using coalescent simulation, reveals the potential insights gained from a set of CAPs, the distributions of genetic distances between individuals.

A Bayesian Approach to Genome/Linguistic Relationships in Native South Americans

This work compared discordant models of language classifications to the current Native American genome-wide variation using realistic demographic models analyzed under an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) framework and indicated a higher posterior probability for the classification proposed by Greenberg in 1987.

Rejection of a serial founder effects model of genetic and linguistic coevolution

It is shown that phoneme inventories provide information about recent contacts between languages, however, because phonemes change rapidly, they cannot providing information about more ancient evolutionary processes.

Mathematical constraints on FST: multiallelic markers in arbitrarily many populations

This work generalizes results obtained for population pairs to arbitrarily many populations, characterizing the mathematical relationship between FST, the frequency M of the more frequent allele at a polymorphic biallelic marker, and the number of subpopulations K and shows that for fixed K, FST has a peculiar constraint as a function of M.

The global pattern of gene identity variation reveals a history of long-range migrations, bottlenecks, and local mate exchange: implications for biological race.

It is demonstrated that the observed pattern of global gene identity variation is consistent with a history of serial population fissions, bottlenecks and long-range migrations associated with the peopling of major geographic regions, and gene flow between local populations.



An apportionment of human DNA diversity.

By partitioning genetic variances at three hierarchical levels of population subdivision, it is found that differences between members of the same population account for 84.4% of the total, which is in excellent agreement with estimates based on allele frequencies of classic, protein polymorphisms.

Drift, admixture, and selection in human evolution: a study with DNA polymorphisms.

A reconstruction of human differentiation based on 100 DNA polymorphisms tested in five populations from four continents shows that Europeans do not fit a simple model of independently evolving populations with equal evolutionary rates, and evolutionary models involving early admixture are compatible with the data.

Microsatellite allele frequencies in humans and chimpanzees, with implications for constraints on allele size.

The distributions of allele sizes at eight simple-sequence repeat (SSR) or microsatellite loci in chimpanzees are found and compared with the distributions previously obtained from several human populations and indicate that interspecific differences in allele length are not always attributable to simple changes in the number of repeats.

Distribution of gene frequency as a test of the theory of the selective neutrality of polymorphisms.

Using data from human populations, this work has shown highly significant heterogeneity in F values for human polymorphic genes over the world, thus demonstrating that a significant fraction of human polymorphisms owe their current gene frequencies to the action of natural selection.

Interrogating a high-density SNP map for signatures of natural selection.

An analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms with allele frequencies that were determined in three populations provides a first generation natural selection map of the human genome and provides compelling evidence that selection has shaped extant patterns of human genomic variation.

High resolution of human evolutionary trees with polymorphic microsatellites

It is shown that polymorphic microsatellites (primarily CA repeats) allow trees of human individuals to be constructed that reflect their geographic origin with remarkable accuracy by the analysis of a large number of loci for each individual, in spite of the small variations in allele frequencies existing between populations.

Genetic Structure of Human Populations

General agreement of genetic and predefined populations suggests that self-reported ancestry can facilitate assessments of epidemiological risks but does not obviate the need to use genetic information in genetic association studies.

Larger genetic differences within africans than between Africans and Eurasians.

The pattern in noncoding regions, because they are less affected by natural selection than are coding regions, can reflect better the history of human evolution and can serve as a baseline for understanding the maintenance of SNPs in human populations.

Genetic perspectives on human origins and differentiation.

The issue of whether or not a population size bottleneck occurred among the authors' ancestors is under debate among geneticists as well as among anthropologists, and the Garden of Eden model of the origin of modern humans is confirmed.

Evolutionary relationships of human populations on a global scale.

A phylogenetic analysis of 26 representative populations from around the world by using the neighbor-joining (NJ) method has shown that the first major split of the phylogenetic tree separates Africans from non-Africans and that this split occurs with a 100% bootstrap probability.