Characteristics of polymorphism at a VNTR locus 3' to the apolipoprotein B gene in five human populations

R. Deka, R. Chakraborty, S. DeCroo, F. Rothhammer, S. A. Barton, R. E. Ferrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We have analyzed the allele frequency distribution at the hypervariable locus 3' to the apolipoprotein B gene (ApoB 3' VNTR) in five well-defined human populations (Kacharis of northeast India, New Guinea Highlanders of Papua New Guinea, Dogrib Indians of Canada, Pehuenche Indians of Chile, and a relatively homogeneous Caucasian population of northern German extraction) by using the PCR technique. A total of 12 segregating alleles were detected in the pooled sample of 319 individuals. A fairly consistent bimodal pattern of allele frequency distribution, apparent in most of these geographically and genetically diverse populations, suggests that the ApoB 3' VNTR polymorphism predates the geographic dispersal of ancestral human populations. In spite of the observed high degree of polymorphism at this locus (expected heterozygosity levels 55%-78%), the genotype distributions in all populations (irrespective of their tribal or cosmopolitan nature) conform to their respective Hardy-Weinberg predictions. Furthermore, analysis of the congruence between expected heterozygosity and the observed number of alleles reveals that, in general, the allele frequency distributions at this locus are in agreement with the predictions of the classical mutation-drift models. The data also show that alleles that are shared by all populations have the highest average frequency within populations. These findings demonstrate the potential utility of highly informative hypervariable loci such as the ApoB 3' VNTR locus in population genetic research, as well as in forensic medicine and determination of biological relatedness of individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1333
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992


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