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In this article, we promote the implementation of extensive genealogical data in population genetic studies. Genealogical records can provide valuable information on the origin of DNA donors in a population genetic study, going beyond the commonly collected data such as residence, birthplace, language, and self-reported ethnicity. Recent studies demonstrated that extended genealogical data added to surname analysis can be crucial to detect signals of (past) population stratification and to interpret the population structure in a more objective manner. Moreover, when in-depth pedigree data are combined with haploid markers, it is even possible to disentangle signals of temporal differentiation within a population genetic structure during the last centuries. Obtaining genealogical data for all DNA donors in a population genetic study is a labor-intensive task but the vastly growing (genetic) genealogical databases, due to the broad interest of the public, are making this job more time-efficient if there is a guarantee for sufficient data quality. At the end, we discuss the advantages and pitfalls of using genealogy within sampling campaigns and we provide guidelines for future population genetic studies. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


M H D Larmuseau, A Van Geystelen, M van Oven, R Decorte. Genetic genealogy comes of age: perspectives on the use of deep-rooted pedigrees in human population genetics. American journal of physical anthropology. 2013 Apr;150(4):505-11

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PMID: 23440589

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