Genetic Testing of 400,000 Individuals Reveals the Geography of Ancestry in the United States. Y. Wang, J. M. Granka, J. K. Byrnes, M. J. Barber, K. Noto, R. E. Curtis, N. M. Natalie, C. A. Ball, K. G. Chahine Ancestry.com DNA LLC 153 Townsend Street, Ste. 800 San Francisco, CA 94107.
The population of the United States is formed by the interplay of immigration, migration and admixture. Recent research (R. Sebro et al., ASHG 2013) has shed light on the U.S. demography by studying the self-reported ethnicity from the 2010 U.S. Census. However, self-reported ethnicity may not accurately represent true genetic ancestry and may therefore introduce unknown biases. Since launching its DNA service in May 2012, AncestryDNA has genotyped over 400, 000 individuals from the United States. Leveraging this huge volume of DNA data, we conducted a large-scale survey of the ancestry of the United States. We predicted genetic ethnicity for each individual, relying on a rigorously curated reference panel of 3,000 single-origin individuals. Combining that with birth locations, we explored how various ethnicities are distributed across the United States Our results reveal a distinct spatial distribution for each ethnicity. For example, we found that individuals from Massachusetts have the highest proportion of Irish genetic ancestry and individuals from New York have the highest proportion of Southern European genetic ancestry, indicating their unique immigration and migration histories. We also performed pairwise IBD analysis on the entire sample set and identified over 300 million shared genomic segments among all 400,000 individuals. From this data, we calculated the average amount of sharing for pairs of individuals born within the same state or from two different states. In general, we found the genetic sharing decreases as the geographic distance between two states increases. However, the pattern also varies substantially among the 50 states. In summary, our analysis has provided significant insight on the biogeographic patterns of the ancestry in the United States.
You may contact the first author (during and after the meeting) at