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Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes.

Published on Dec 1, 2019in Nature Communications11.878
· DOI :10.1038/s41467-019-12283-6
Robin G Walters3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Oxford),
David W. Clark6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Edin.: University of Edinburgh)
+ 433 AuthorsJames F. Wilson107
Estimated H-index: 107
(Edin.: University of Edinburgh)
Abstract
In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (FROH) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that FROH is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: FROH equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44–66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of FROH are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in FROH is independent of all environmental confounding. Inbreeding depression has been observed in many different species, but in humans a systematic analysis has been difficult so far. Here, analysing more than 1.3 million individuals, the authors show that a genomic inbreeding coefficient (FROH) is associated with disadvantageous outcomes in 32 out of 100 traits tested.
  • References (46)
  • Citations (1)
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Inbreeding increases the risk of certain Mendelian disorders in humans but may also reduce fitness through its effects on complex traits and diseases. Such inbreeding depression is thought to occur due to increased homozygosity at causal variants that are recessive with respect to fitness. Until recently it has been difficult to amass large enough sample sizes to investigate the effects of inbreeding depression on complex traits using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data in popu...
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