genomes, Europe, Ukraine, Russia, genome diversity, whole-genome sequencing, variants, genome project, genotyping, genome deserts
Documenting genome diversity is important for the local biomedical communities and instrumental in developing precision and personalized medicine. Currently, tens of thousands of whole-genome sequences from Europe are publicly available, but most of these represent populations of developed countries of Europe. The uneven distribution of the available data is further impaired by the lack of data sharing. Recent whole-genome studies in Eastern Europe, one in Ukraine and one in Russia, demonstrated that local genome diversity and population structure from Eastern Europe historically had not been fully represented. An unexpected wealth of genomic variation uncovered in these studies was not so much a consequence of high variation within their population, but rather due to the “pioneer advantage.” We discovered more variants because we were the first to prospect in the Eastern European genome pool. This simple comparison underscores the importance of removing the remaining geographic genome deserts from the rest of the world map of the human genome diversity.
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Oleksyk, Taras K.; Walter Wolfsberger; Khrystyna Schubelka; Serghei Mangul; and Stephen James O'Brien. 2022. "The Pioneer Advantage: Filling the blank spots on the map of genome diversity in Europe." GigaScience 11, (). doi:10.1093/gigascience/giac081.