Kuwaiti population subgroup of nomadic Bedouin ancestry-Whole genome sequence and analysis

Sumi Elsa John, Gaurav Thareja, Prashantha Hebbar, Kazem Behbehani, Alphonse Thangavel Thanaraj, Osama Alsmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Kuwaiti native population comprises three distinct genetic subgroups of Persian, "city-dwelling" Saudi Arabian tribe, and nomadic "tent-dwelling" Bedouin ancestry. Bedouin subgroup is characterized by presence of 17% African ancestry; it owes it origin to nomadic tribes of the deserts of Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. By sequencing whole genome of a Kuwaiti male from this subgroup at 41X coverage, we report 3,752,878 SNPs, 411,839 indels, and 8451 structural variations. Neighbor-joining tree, based on shared variant positions carrying disease-risk alleles between the Bedouin and other continental genomes, places Bedouin genome at the nexus of African, Asian, and European genomes in concordance with geographical location of Kuwait and Peninsula. In congruence with participant's medical history for morbid obesity and bronchial asthma, risk alleles are seen at deleterious SNPs associated with obesity and asthma. Many of the observed deleterious 'novel' variants lie in genes associated with autosomal recessive disorders characteristic of the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
JournalGenomics Data
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • "Tent-dwelling" Bedouins
  • Arabian Peninsula
  • Intergenome distances
  • Kuwaiti population
  • Nomadic Bedouin ancestry
  • Whole genome sequence


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