On the use of principal components in contemporany population genetics: a case study

Gasparini, Mauro
Di Gaetano, C.
In human Population Genetics, routine applications of principal component techniques are often required. Population biologists make widespread use of certain discrete classifications of human samples into haplotypes, the monophyletic units of phylogenetic trees constructed from several single nucleotide bimorphisms hierarchically ordered. Compositional frequencies of the haplotypes are recorded within the different samples. Principal component techniques are then required as a dimension-reducing strategy to bring the dimension of the problem to a manageable level, say two, to allow for graphical analysis. Population biologists at large are not aware of the special features of compositional data and normally make use of the crude covariance of compositional relative frequencies to construct principal components. In this short note we present our experience with using traditional linear principal components or compositional principal components based on logratios, with reference to a specific dataset ​
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