RESEARCH: Identification of single nucleotide variants in the Moroccan population by whole-genome sequencing

Mouneem ESSABBAR October 3rd at 4:59pm

Large-scale human sequencing projects have described around a hundred-million single nucleotide variants (SNVs). These studies have predominately involved individuals with European ancestry despite the fact that genetic diversity is expected to be highest in Africa where Homo sapiens evolved and has maintained a large population for the longest time. The African Genome Variation Project examined several African populations but these were all located south of the Sahara. Morocco is on the northwest coast of Africa and mostly lies north of the Sahara, which makes it very attractive for studying genetic diversity. The ancestry of present-day Moroccans is unknown and may be substantially different from Africans found South of the Sahara desert, Recent genomic data of Taforalt individuals in Eastern Morocco revealed 15,000-year-old modern humans and suggested that North African individuals may be genetically distinct from previously studied African populations.<br /> <br><br /> <br /> We conclude that Moroccan samples are genetically distinct and lie in the middle of the previously observed cline between populations of European and African ancestry. WGS of Moroccan individuals can identify a large number of novel SNVs and aid in functional characterisation of the genome.<br /> <br><br /> <br><br /> READ MORE:

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