Detection and classification of hard and soft sweeps from unphased genotypes by multilocus genotype identity

Alexandre M. Harris, Nandita R. Garud, Michael Degiorgio

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41 Scopus citations


Positive natural selection can lead to a decrease in genomic diversity at the selected site and at linked sites, producing a characteristic signature of elevated expected haplotype homozygosity. These selective sweeps can be hard or soft. In the case of a hard selective sweep, a single adaptive haplotype rises to high population frequency, whereas multiple adaptive haplotypes sweep through the population simultaneously in a soft sweep, producing distinct patterns of genetic variation in the vicinity of the selected site. Measures of expected haplotype homozygosity have previously been used to detect sweeps in multiple study systems. However, these methods are formulated for phased haplotype data, typically unavailable for nonmodel organisms, and some may have reduced power to detect soft sweeps due to their increased genetic diversity relative to hard sweeps. To address these limitations, we applied the H12 and H2/H1 statistics proposed in 2015 by Garud et al., which have power to detect both hard and soft sweeps, to unphased multilocus genotypes, denoting them as G12 and G2/G1. G12 (and the more direct expected homozygosity analog to H12, denoted G123) has comparable power to H12 for detecting both hard and soft sweeps. G2/G1 can be used to classify hard and soft sweeps analogously to H2/H1, conditional on a genomic region having high G12 or G123 values. The reason for this power is that, under random mating, the most frequent haplotypes will yield the most frequent multilocus genotypes. Simulations based on parameters compatible with our recent understanding of human demographic history suggest that expected homozygosity methods are best suited for detecting recent sweeps, and increase in power under recent population expansions. Finally, we find candidates for selective sweeps within the 1000 Genomes CEU, YRI, GIH, and CHB populations, which corroborate and complement existing studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1452
Number of pages24
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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