Poster Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Mathematical Model of Missing African Genomic Variation: A case for robust sampling (#632)

Latifa Jackson 1 , Raouf Ghomrasni 2 , Fatimah Jackson 1
  1. Howard University, Washington, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, United States
  2. African Institute for Mathematical Science, Cape Town, South Africa

Current African genetic databases are woefully inadequate to describe the genetic variation found among African Diaspora populations. This leads to significant difficulties in estimating admixture proportions in highly heterogeneous modern groups. What are the implications of this missing diversity for developing robust reference databases? Using mathematical models to evaluate the impact of missing genetic diversity data, we estimate how much unaccounted for diversity data exists in Africa among different ethnic and regional populations. We estimate that we capture less than half of the genetic variation in exant human populations with the current publicly available population resources. These missing diversity demonstrate the lack of power in our current  genetic sampling protocols and reveal the extent to which this absent African genetic diversity undermines comprehensive representations of the continent's people.