Assortative Mating on Ancestry-Variant Traits in Admixed Latin American Populations.
ABSTRACT: Assortative mating is a universal feature of human societies, and individuals from ethnically diverse populations are known to mate assortatively based on similarities in genetic ancestry. However, little is currently known regarding the exact phenotypic cues, or their underlying genetic architecture, which inform ancestry-based assortative mating. We developed a novel approach, using genome-wide analysis of ancestry-specific haplotypes, to evaluate ancestry-based assortative mating on traits whose expression varies among the three continental population groups - African, European, and Native American - that admixed to form modern Latin American populations. Application of this method to genome sequences sampled from Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico revealed widespread ancestry-based assortative mating. We discovered a number of anthropometric traits (body mass, height, and facial development) and neurological attributes (educational attainment and schizophrenia) that serve as phenotypic cues for ancestry-based assortative mating. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) loci show population-specific patterns of both assortative and disassortative mating in Latin America. Ancestry-based assortative mating in the populations analyzed here appears to be driven primarily by African ancestry. This study serves as an example of how population genomic analyses can yield novel insights into human behavior.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Research on the evolution of reproductive isolation in African cichlid fishes has largely focussed on the role of male colours and female mate choice. Here, we tested predictions from the hypothesis that allopatric divergence in male colour is associated with corresponding divergence in preference.<h4>Methods</h4>We studied four populations of the Lake Malawi Pseudotropheus zebra complex. We predicted that more distantly-related populations that independently evolved similar colours would interbreed freely while more closely-related populations with different colours mate assortatively. We used microsatellite genotypes or mesh false-floors to assign paternity. Fisher's exact tests as well as Binomial and Wilcoxon tests were used to detect if mating departed from random expectations.<h4>Results</h4>Surprisingly, laboratory mate choice experiments revealed significant assortative mating not only between population pairs with differently coloured males, but between population pairs with similarly-coloured males too. This suggested that assortative mating could be based on non-visual cues, so we further examined the sensory basis of assortative mating between two populations with different male colour. Conducting trials under monochromatic (orange) light, intended to mask the distinctive male dorsal fin hues (blue v orange) of these populations, did not significantly affect the assortative mating by female P. emmiltos observed under control conditions. By contrast, assortative mating broke down when direct contact between female and male was prevented.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We suggest that non-visual cues, such as olfactory signals, may play an important role in mate choice and behavioural isolation in these and perhaps other African cichlid fish. Future speciation models aimed at explaining African cichlid radiations may therefore consider incorporating such mating cues in mate choice scenarios.
Project description:Statistical models in medical and population genetics typically assume that individuals assort randomly in a population. While this simplifies model complexity, it contradicts an increasing body of evidence of nonrandom mating in human populations. Specifically, it has been shown that assortative mating is significantly affected by genomic ancestry. In this work, we examine the effects of ancestry-assortative mating on the linkage disequilibrium between local ancestry tracks of individuals in an admixed population. To accomplish this, we develop an extension to the Wright-Fisher model that allows for ancestry-based assortative mating. We show that ancestry-assortment perturbs the distribution of local ancestry linkage disequilibrium (LAD) and the variance of ancestry in a population as a function of the number of generations since admixture. This assortment effect can induce errors in demographic inference of admixed populations when methods assume random mating. We derive closed form formulae for LAD under an assortative-mating model with and without migration. We observe that LAD depends on the correlation of global ancestry of couples in each generation, the migration rate of each of the ancestral populations, the initial proportions of ancestral populations, and the number of generations since admixture. We also present the first direct evidence of ancestry-assortment in African Americans and examine LAD in simulated and real admixed population data of African Americans. We find that demographic inference under the assumption of random mating significantly underestimates the number of generations since admixture, and that accounting for assortative mating using the patterns of LAD results in estimates that more closely agrees with the historical narrative.
Project description:In networks, nodes may preferentially contact other nodes with similar (assortatively mixed) or dissimilar (disassortatively mixed) numbers of contacts. Different patterns of contact support different epidemic dynamics, potentially affecting the efficacy of control measures such as contact tracing, which aims to identify and isolate nodes with infectious contacts. We used stochastic simulations to investigate the effects of mixing patterns on epidemic dynamics and contact-tracing efficacy. For uncontrolled epidemics, outbreaks occur at lower infection rates for more assortatively mixed networks, with faster initial epidemic growth rate and shorter epidemic duration than for disassortatively mixed networks. Contact tracing performs better for assortative mixing where epidemic size is large and tracing rate low, but it performs better for disassortative mixing at higher contact rates. For assortatively mixed networks, disease spreads first to highly connected nodes, but this is balanced by contact tracing quickly identifying these same nodes. The converse is true for disassortative mixing, where both disease and tracing are less likely to target highly connected nodes. For small epidemics, contact tracing is more effective on disassortative networks due to the greater resilience of assortative networks to link removal. Multi-step contact tracing is more effective than single-step tracing for assortative mixing, but this effect is smaller for disassortatively mixed networks.
Project description:Assortative mating has been a focus of considerable research because of its potential to influence biodiversity at many scales. Sharon et al. (2010) discovered that an inbred strain of Drosophila melanogaster mated assortatively based on the diet of previous generations, leading to initial reproductive isolation without genetic evolution. This behavior was reproduced by manipulating the microbiome independently of the diet, pointing to extracellular bacterial symbionts as the assortative mating cue. To further investigate the biological significance of this result, we attempted to reproduce this phenomenon in an independent laboratory using different genotypes and additional mating assays. Supporting the previous result, we found that a different inbred strain also mated assortatively based on the diets of previous generations. However, we were unable to generate assortative mating in an outbred strain from North Carolina. Our results support the potential for non-genetic mechanisms to influence reproductive isolation, but additional work is needed to investigate the importance of this mechanism in natural populations of Drosophila.
Project description:Female mating preferences can influence both intraspecific sexual selection and interspecific reproductive isolation, and have therefore been proposed to play a central role in speciation. Here, we investigate experimentally in the African cichlid fish Pundamilia nyererei if differences in male coloration between three para-allopatric populations (i.e. island populations with gene flow) of P. nyererei are predicted by differences in sexual selection by female mate choice between populations. Second, we investigate if female mating preferences are based on the same components of male coloration and go in the same direction when females choose among males of their own population, their own and other conspecific populations and a closely related para-allopatric sister-species, P. igneopinnis Mate-choice experiments revealed that females of the three populations mated species-assortatively, that populations varied in their extent of population-assortative mating and that females chose among males of their own population based on different male colours. Females of different populations exerted directional intrapopulation sexual selection on different male colours, and these differences corresponded in two of the populations to the observed differences in male coloration between the populations. Our results suggest that differences in male coloration between populations of P. nyererei can be explained by divergent sexual selection and that population-assortative mating may directly result from intrapopulation sexual selection.
Project description:Genetic correlation between mates at specific loci can greatly alter the evolutionary trajectory of a species. Genetic assortative mating has been documented in humans, but its existence beyond population stratification (shared ancestry) has been a matter of controversy. Here, we develop a method to measure assortative mating across the genome at 1,044,854 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), controlling for population stratification and cohort-specific cryptic relatedness. Using data on 1683 human couples from two data sources, we find evidence for both assortative and disassortative mating at specific, discernible loci throughout the entire genome. Then, using the composite of multiple signals (CMS) score, we also show that the group of SNPs exhibiting the most assortativity has been under stronger recent positive selection. Simulations using realistic inputs confirm that assortative mating might indeed affect changes in allele frequency over time. These results suggest that genetic assortative mating may be speeding up evolution in humans.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>While spouse correlations have been documented for numerous traits, no prior studies have assessed assortative mating for genetic ancestry in admixed populations.<h4>Results</h4>Using 104 ancestry informative markers, we examined spouse correlations in genetic ancestry for Mexican spouse pairs recruited from Mexico City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and Puerto Rican spouse pairs recruited from Puerto Rico and New York City. In the Mexican pairs, we found strong spouse correlations for European and Native American ancestry, but no correlation in African ancestry. In the Puerto Rican pairs, we found significant spouse correlations for African ancestry and European ancestry but not Native American ancestry. Correlations were not attributable to variation in socioeconomic status or geographic heterogeneity. Past evidence of spouse correlation was also seen in the strong evidence of linkage disequilibrium between unlinked markers, which was accounted for in regression analysis by ancestral allele frequency difference at the pair of markers (European versus Native American for Mexicans, European versus African for Puerto Ricans). We also observed an excess of homozygosity at individual markers within the spouses, but this provided weaker evidence, as expected, of spouse correlation. Ancestry variance is predicted to decline in each generation, but less so under assortative mating. We used the current observed variances of ancestry to infer even stronger patterns of spouse ancestry correlation in previous generations.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Assortative mating related to genetic ancestry persists in Latino populations to the current day, and has impacted on the genomic structure in these populations.
Project description:Mate choice is mediated by a range of sensory cues, and assortative mating based on these cues can drive reproductive isolation among diverging populations. A specific feature of mormyrid fish, the electric organ discharge (EOD), is used for electrolocation and intraspecific communication. We hypothesized that the EOD also facilitates assortative mating and ultimately promotes prezygotic reproductive isolation in African weakly electric fishes. Our behavioural experiments using live males as well as EOD playback demonstrated that female mate recognition is influenced by EOD signals and that females are attracted to EOD characteristics of conspecific males. The dual function of the EOD for both foraging and social communication (including mate recognition leading to assortative mating) underlines the importance of electric signal differentiation for the divergence of African weakly electric fishes. Thus, the EOD provides an intriguing mechanism promoting trophic divergence and reproductive isolation between two closely related Campylomormyrus species occurring in sympatry in the lower Congo rapids.
Project description:Some species mate nonrandomly with respect to alleles underlying immunity. One hypothesis proposes that this is advantageous because nonrandom mating can lead to offspring with superior parasite resistance. We investigate this hypothesis, generalizing previous models in four ways: First, rather than only examining invasibility of modifiers of nonrandom mating, we identify evolutionarily stable strategies. Second, we study coevolution of both haploid and diploid hosts and parasites. Third, we allow for maternal parasite transmission. Fourth, we allow for many alleles at the interaction locus. We find that evolutionarily stable rates of assortative or disassortative mating are usually near zero or one. However, for one case, in which assumptions most closely match the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) system, intermediate rates of disassortative mating can evolve. Across all cases, with haploid hosts, evolution proceeds toward complete disassortative mating, whereas with diploid hosts either assortative or disassortative mating can evolve. Evolution of nonrandom mating is much less affected by the ploidy of parasites. For the MHC case, maternal transmission of parasites, because it creates an advantage to producing offspring that differ from their parents, leads to higher evolutionarily stable rates of disassortative mating. Lastly, with more alleles at the interaction locus, disassortative mating evolves to higher levels.
Project description:In sexual populations, the effectiveness of selection will depend on how gametes combine with respect to genetic quality. If gametes with deleterious alleles are likely to combine with one another, deleterious genetic variation can be more easily purged by selection. Assortative mating, where there is a positive correlation between parents in a phenotype of interest such as body size, is often observed in nature, but does not necessarily reveal how gametes ultimately combine with respect to genetic quality itself. We manipulated genetic quality in fruit fly populations using an inbreeding scheme designed to provide an unbiased measure of mating patterns. While inbred flies had substantially reduced reproductive success, their gametes did not combine with those of other inbred flies more often than expected by chance, indicating a lack of positive assortative mating. Instead, we detected a negative correlation in genetic quality between parents, i.e. disassortative mating, which diminished with age. This pattern is expected to reduce the genetic variance for fitness, diminishing the effectiveness of selection. We discuss how mechanisms of sexual selection could produce a pattern of disassortative mating. Our study highlights that sexual selection has the potential to either increase or decrease genetic load.