Spatial patterns of variation due to natural selection in humans

Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Nov;10(11):745-55. doi: 10.1038/nrg2632. Epub 2009 Oct 13.


Empowered by technology and sampling efforts designed to facilitate genome-wide association mapping, human geneticists are now studying the geography of genetic variation in unprecedented detail. With high genomic coverage and geographic resolution, these studies are identifying loci with spatial signatures of selection, such as extreme levels of differentiation and correlations with environmental variables. Collectively, patterns at these loci are beginning to provide new insights into the process of human adaptation. Here, we review the challenges of these studies and emerging results, including how human population structure has influenced the response to novel selective pressures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Selection, Genetic*