Inference of biogeographic origin is an important factor in clinical, population and forensic genetics. The information provided by AIMs (Ancestry Informative Markers) can allow the differentiation of major continental population groups, and several AIM panels have been developed for this purpose. However, from these major population groups, Eurasia covers a wide area between two continents that is difficult to differentiate genetically. These populations display a gradual genetic cline from West Europe to South Asia in terms of allele frequency distribution. Although differences have been reported between Europe and South Asia, Middle East populations continue to be a target of further investigations due to the lack of genetic variability, therefore hampering their genetic differentiation from neighboring populations. In the present study, a custom-built ancestry panel was developed to analyze North African and Middle Eastern populations, designated the ‘NAME’ panel. The NAME panel contains 111 SNPs that have patterns of allele frequency differentiation that can distinguish individuals originating in North Africa and the Middle East when combined with a previous set of 126 Global AIM-SNPs.
- Biogeographic ancestry
- Middle Eastern populations