Seminars – Reconstructing a population’s past demography using whole genomes – 23 June 2016

EVENT : C3BI Seminars

Reconstructing a population’s past demography using whole genomes


Speaker : Flora Jay, from Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique – Université Paris-Sud Time : 02:00 pm Starting Date : 23/06/2016     

Location : Retrovirus room – LWOFF (22), Institut Pasteur, Paris


Reconstructing a population’s past demography using whole genomes

In population genetics, a key interest is to reconstruct the past history of a population using its genetic data. This history can be characterized by multiple demographic events such as migration of individuals, admixture with another population, or changes in population size (eg expansion or decline). With the availability of large-scale genomic data numerous methods have arose for untangling complicated demographic histories or retrieving a detailed picture of a population at different time periods.

Genomes are known to be extremely informative about demography and there are many ways to extract this information. I will focus on methods that infer past population sizes and mention a few significant recent developments. I will present our approach designed for an intermediate number of fully sequenced genomes. It relies on Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) which is a simulation-based statistical framework for generic model comparison and parameter inference. We demonstrate how the specificities of DNA sequencing data (namely haplotypic information, long range genetic correlation and genotyping errors) can be handle using ABC and fast genetic simulators, and further infer histories of successive bottleneck and expansions in human populations.


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