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Thread: Insular Celtic population structure and genomic footprints of migration (Byrne et al. 2018)537 days old

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    Default Insular Celtic population structure and genomic footprints of migration (Byrne et al. 2018)

    I'm a big fan of the Irish and Celts in general, so this is a cool study Yet another open access study over at PLOS:

    Previous studies of the genetic landscape of Ireland have suggested homogeneity, with population substructure undetectable using single-marker methods. Here we have harnessed the haplotype-based method fineSTRUCTURE in an Irish genome-wide SNP dataset, identifying 23 discrete genetic clusters which segregate with geographical provenance. Cluster diversity is pronounced in the west of Ireland but reduced in the east where older structure has been eroded by historical migrations. Accordingly, when populations from the neighbouring island of Britain are included, a west-east cline of Celtic-British ancestry is revealed along with a particularly striking correlation between haplotypes and geography across both islands. A strong relationship is revealed between subsets of Northern Irish and Scottish populations, where discordant genetic and geographic affinities reflect major migrations in recent centuries. Additionally, Irish genetic proximity of all Scottish samples likely reflects older strata of communication across the narrowest inter-island crossing. Using GLOBETROTTER we detected Irish admixture signals from Britain and Europe and estimated dates for events consistent with the historical migrations of the Norse-Vikings, the Anglo-Normans and the British Plantations. The influence of the former is greater than previously estimated from Y chromosome haplotypes. In all, we paint a new picture of the genetic landscape of Ireland, revealing structure which should be considered in the design of studies examining rare genetic variation and its association with traits.
    Source: Insular Celtic population structure and genomic footprints of migration
    Ross P. Byrne, Rui Martiniano, Lara M. Cassidy, Matthew Carrigan, Garrett Hellenthal, Orla Hardiman, Daniel G. Bradley, Russell L. McLaughlin
    Published: January 25, 2018
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007152








    Not much new here, it seems like Celtic folks of the British isles have lots of Scandinavian and German (and other Germanic) ancestry. It does seem however, that the Irish and Scottish peoples are closely related:

    North to south variation in Ireland and Britain are therefore not independent, reflecting major gene flow between the north of Ireland and Scotland (Fig 5) which resonates with three layers of historical contacts. First, the presence of individuals with strong Irish affinity among the third generation PoBI Scottish sample can be plausibly attributed to major economic migration from Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries [6]. Second, the large proportion of Northern Irish who retain genomes indistinguishable from those sampled in Scotland accords with the major settlements (including the Ulster Plantation) of mainly Scottish farmers following the 16th Century Elizabethan conquest of Ireland which led to these forming the majority of the Ulster population. Third, the suspected Irish colonisation of Scotland through the Dál Riata maritime kingdom, which expanded across Ulster and the west coast of Scotland in the 6th and 7th centuries, linked to the introduction and spread of Gaelic languages [3]. Such a migratory event could work to homogenise older layers of Scottish population structure, in a similar manner as noted on the east coasts of Britain and Ireland. Earlier communications and movements across the Irish Sea are also likely, which at its narrowest point separates Ireland from Scotland by approximately 20 km.

    Any new insights from this study?
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