Rapid adaptation to malaria facilitated by admixture in the human population of Cabo Verde.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Humans have undergone large migrations over the past hundreds to thousands of years, exposing ourselves to new environments and selective pressures. Yet, evidence of ongoing or recent selection in humans is difficult to detect. Many of these migrations also resulted in gene flow between previously separated populations. These recently admixed populations provide unique opportunities to study rapid evolution in humans. Developing methods based on distributions of local ancestry, we demonstrate that this sort of genetic exchange has facilitated detectable adaptation to a malaria parasite in the admixed population of Cabo Verde within the last ~20 generations. We estimate that the selection coefficient is approximately 0.08, one of the highest inferred in humans. Notably, we show that this strong selection at a single locus has likely affected patterns of ancestry genome-wide, potentially biasing demographic inference. Our study provides evidence of adaptation in a human population on historical timescales.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hamid, I; Korunes, KL; Beleza, S; Goldberg, A

Published Date

  • January 4, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 /

Start / End Page

  • e63177 -

PubMed ID

  • 33393457

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7815310

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2050-084X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2050-084X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7554/elife.63177


  • eng