Genome-wide sequence analyses of ethnic populations across Russia



The Russian Federation is the largest and one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, however no centralized reference database of genetic variation exists to date. Such data are crucial for medical genetics and essential for studying population history. The Genome Russia Project aims at filling this gap by performing whole genome sequencing and analysis of peoples of the Russian Federation.

Here we report the characterization of genome-wide variation of 264 healthy adults, including 60 newly sequenced samples. People of Russia carry known and novel genetic variants of adaptive, clinical and functional consequence that in many cases show allele frequency divergence from neighboring populations. Population genetics analyses revealed six phylogeographic partitions among indigenous ethnicities corresponding to their geographic locales. This study presents a characterization of population-specific genomic variation in Russia with results important for medical genetics and for understanding the dynamic population history of the world’s largest country.