Articles written in Journal of Genetics
Volume 83 Issue 1 April 2004 pp 49-63 Research Article
The extent of genetic polymorphism at fifteen autosomal microsatellite markers in 54 ethnically, linguistically and geographically diverse human populations of India was studied to decipher intrapopulation diversity. The parameters used to quantify intrapopulation diversity were average allele diversity, average heterozygosity, allele range (base pairs), and number of alleles. Multilocus genotype frequencies calculated for selected populations were utilized for testing conformity with the assumption of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The exact test values, after Bonferroni correction, showed significant deviation amongst Gowda (vWA, Penta E); Dhangar, Satnami and Gounder (D8S1179); Hmar (FGA); Kuki and Balti (vWA) groups. Relatively low number of alleles and allelic diversity (base-pairs size) had been observed in populations of central India as compared with southern and northern regions of the country. The communities of Indo-Caucasoid ethnic origin and Indo-European linguistic family (Kshatriya of Uttar Pradesh) showed highest allelic diversity, as well as rare alleles, not reported in any other Indian populations. Analysis based on average heterozygosity was also found to be lowest among the populations of central India (0.729) and highest among the populations from north (0.777) and west (0.784) regions of the country, having Indo-Caucasoid ethnic origin and Austro-Asiatic linguistic affiliation. The maximum power of discrimination (85%-89%) had been observed at loci FGA, Penta E, D18S51 and D21S11, suggested high intrapopulation diversity in India. Genetic diversity revealed by STR markers was consistent with the known demographic histories of populations. Thus, the present study clearly demonstrated that the intrapopulation diversity is not only present at the national level, but also within smaller geographical regions of the country. This is the first attempt to understand the extent of diversity within populations of India at such a large scale at genomic level.
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