Fine-scale genetic structure in the United Arab Emirates reflects endogamous and consanguineous culture, population history, and geography

Katherine S Elliott, Marc Haber, Hinda Daggag, George B Busby, Rizwan Sarwar, Derek Kennet, Michael Petraglia, Lawrence J Petherbridge, Parisa Yavari, Frauke U Heard-Bey, Bindu Shobi, Tariq Ghulam, Dalia Haj, Alia Al Tikriti, Alshafi Mohammad, Suma Antony, Maitha Alyileili, Shatha Alaydaroos, Evelyn Lau, Mark ButlerArash Yavari, Julian C Knight, Houman Ashrafian, Maha T Barakat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The indigenous population of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a unique demographic and cultural history. Its tradition of endogamy and consanguinity is expected to produce genetic homogeneity and partitioning of gene pools while population movements and intercontinental trade are likely to have contributed to genetic diversity. Emiratis and neighboring populations of the Middle East have been underrepresented in the population genetics literature with few studies covering the broader genetic history of the Arabian Peninsula. Here, we genotyped 1,198 individuals from the seven Emirates using 1.7 million markers and by employing haplotype-based algorithms and admixture analyses, we reveal the fine-scale genetic structure of the Emirati population. Shared ancestry and gene flow with neighboring populations display their unique geographic position while increased intra- versus inter-Emirati kinship and sharing of uniparental haplogroups, reflect the endogamous and consanguineous cultural traditions of the Emirates and their tribes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermsac039
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Volume39
Issue number3
Early online date22 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Keywords

  • Consanguinity
  • Genetic Structures
  • Genetics, Population
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • United Arab Emirates

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