The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Extended tracts of homozygosity in outbred human populations

Gibson, Jane, Morton, Newton E. and Collins, Andrew (2006) Extended tracts of homozygosity in outbred human populations Human Molecular Genetics, 15, (5), pp. 789-795. (doi:10.1093/hmg/ddi493).

Record type: Article


Long tracts of consecutive homozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can arise in the genome through a number of mechanisms. These include inbreeding in which an individual inherits chromosomal segments that are identical by descent from each parent. However, recombination and other processes break up chromosomal segments over generations. The longest tracts are therefore to be expected in populations with an appreciable degree of inbreeding. We examined the length, number and distribution of long tracts of homozygosity in the apparently outbred HapMap populations. We observed 1393 tracts exceeding 1 Mb in length among the 209 unrelated HapMap individuals. The longest was an uninterrupted run of 3922 homozygous SNPs spanning 17.9 Mb in a Japanese individual. We find that homozygous tracts are significantly more common in regions with high linkage disequilibrium and low recombination, and the location of tracts is similar across all populations. The Yoruba sample has the fewest long tracts per individual, consistent with a larger number of generations (and hence amount of recombination) since the founding of that population. Our results suggest that multiple-megabase-scale ancestral haplotypes persist in outbred human populations in broad genomic regions which have lower than average recombination rates. We observed three outlying individuals who have exceptionally long and numerous homozygous tracts that are not associated with recombination suppressed areas of the genome. We consider that this reflects a high level of relatedness in their ancestry which is too recent to have been influenced by the local recombination intensity. Possible alternative mechanisms and the implications of long homozygous tracts in the genome are discussed.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 March 2006
Keywords: x-ray spectroscopy, pixelized detector, tes, squid, human, genome, haplotypes, population, genetics, research


Local EPrints ID: 24709
PURE UUID: 2ac264e0-d56e-4426-a4fe-f17f63313e58
ORCID for Jane Gibson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Andrew Collins: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Apr 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:12

Export record



Author: Jane Gibson ORCID iD
Author: Newton E. Morton
Author: Andrew Collins ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.