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McSwan: A joint site frequency spectrum method to detect and date selective sweeps across multiple population genomes

Tournebize, Rémi, Poncet, Valérie, Jakobsson, Mattias, Vigouroux, Yves, Manel, Stéphanie
Molecular ecology resources 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 283-295
Europeans, data collection, effective population size, genes, genomics, haplotypes, humans, models, natural selection
Inferring the mode and tempo of natural selection helps further our understanding of adaptation to past environmental changes. Here, we introduce McSwan, a method to detect and date past and recent natural selection events in the case of a hard sweep. The method is based on the comparison of site frequency spectra obtained under various demographic models that include selection. McSwan demonstrated high power (high sensitivity and specificity) in capturing hard selective sweep events without requiring haplotype phasing. It performed slightly better than SweeD when the recent effective population size was low and the genomic region was small. We then applied our method to a European (CEU) and an African (LWK) human re‐sequencing data set. Most hard sweeps were detected in the CEU population (96%). Moreover, hard sweeps in the African population were estimated to have occurred further back in time (mode: 43,625 years BP) compared to those of Europeans (mode: 24,850 years BP). Most of the estimated ages of hard sweeps in Europeans were associated with the Last Glacial Maximum and were enriched in immunity‐associated genes.