Genetic Studies in the Hutterites
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We have conducted genetic studies of disease-associated quantitative phenotypes, including microbiome and gene expression studies, by genotyping and/or sequencing in the Hutterites, a founder population of European descent. The Hutterites who have participated in our studies live on communal farms in South Dakota and are related to each other through multiple lines of descent in a 3,657-person, 13-generation pedigree with 64 founders. The small number of founding genomes reduces genetic heterogeneity whereas their communal lifestyle ensures that non-genetic factors are remarkably uniform between individuals. Our sample includes >1,600 subjects who have participated in our studies of fertility (since 1982), asthma, cardiovascular disease and other complex phenotypes (since 1993), microbiome studies (since 2011), and/or immune response (since 2012).