Using blood informative transcripts in geographical genomics: impact of lifestyle on gene expression in Fijians
Nath, Artika Praveeta
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In previous geographical genomics studies of the impact of lifestyle on gene expression inferred from microarray analysis of peripheral blood samples, we described the complex influences of culture, ethnicity, and gender in Morocco, and of pregnancy in Brisbane. Here we describe the use of nanofluidic Fluidigm quantitative RT-PCR arrays targeted at a set of 96 transcripts that are broadly informative of the major axes of immune gene expression, to explore the population structure of transcription in Fiji. As in Morocco, major differences are seen between the peripheral blood transcriptomes of rural villagers and residents of the capital city, Suva.The effect is much greater in Indian villages than in Melanesian high-landers and appears to be similar with respect to the nature of at least two axes of variation. Gender differences are much smaller than ethnicity or lifestyle effects. Body mass index is shown to associate with one of the axes as it does in Atlanta and Brisbane, establishing a link between the epidemiological transition of human metabolic disease, and gene expression profiles.