Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Population Stratification

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_715

Definition

Often an apparently homogenous population group contains subgroups that are genetically distinct. These subgroups may have allele frequency differences due to systematic ancestry differences. Such population structure is known as population stratification.

Description

The mixture of groups of individuals with different allele frequency, i.e., heterogeneous genetic backgrounds, undermines the reliability of association testing results. The assumption of population homogeneity in association studies may not always be true, and violation of the assumption can result in statistical errors. Genetically distinct population subgroups, possibly resulted from interbreeding of two different population groups, can exhibit disequilibrium between pairs of unlinked loci which may create confounding or spurious associations. Therefore, it becomes important to find and quantify genetically distinct subgroups within a population group. Various techniques including principal component...

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References and Readings

  1. Cardon, L. R., & Palmer, L. J. (2003). Population stratification and spurious allelic association. The Lancet, 361, 598–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA