Positive selection in the genomes of two Papua New Guinean populations at distinct altitude levels

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: André, Mathilde; Brucato, Nicolas; Hudjasov, Georgi; Pankratov, Vasili; Yermakovich, Danat; Montinaro, Francesco; Kreevan, Rita; Kariwiga, Jason; Muke, John; Boland, Anne; Deleuze, Jean-François; Meyer, Vincent; Evans, Nicholas; Cox, Murray P.; Leavesley, Matthew; Dannemann, Michael; Org, Tõnis; Metspalu, Mait; Mondal, Mayukh; Ricaut, François-Xavier
Year of Publication: 2024
Journal: Nature Communications
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pagination: 3352
Date Published: 2024/04/30
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 2041-1723

Highlanders and lowlanders of Papua New Guinea have faced distinct environmental stress, such as hypoxia and environment-specific pathogen exposure, respectively. In this study, we explored the top genomics regions and the candidate driver SNPs for selection in these two populations using newly sequenced whole-genomes of 54 highlanders and 74 lowlanders. We identified two candidate SNPs under selection - one in highlanders, associated with red blood cell traits and another in lowlanders, which is associated with white blood cell count – both potentially influencing the heart rate of Papua New Guineans in opposite directions. We also observed four candidate driver SNPs that exhibit linkage disequilibrium with an introgressed haplotype, highlighting the need to explore the possibility of adaptive introgression within these populations. This study reveals that the signatures of positive selection in highlanders and lowlanders of Papua New Guinea align closely with the challenges they face, which are specific to their environments.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-47735-1
Short Title: Nature Communications