Genetic signatures of pre-expansion bottleneck in the Choctaw population of Oklahoma

Ning Wang, Xiaodong Zhou, Filemon K. Tan, Morris W. Foster, Frank C. Arnett, Ranajit Chakraborty

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Previous research showed that the Choctaw Indians of Oklahoma exhibit considerable linkage disequilibria (LD) in a number of regions of the genome that has allowed genetic fine mapping for potential susceptibility genes for the autoimmune connective tissue disease scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis (SSc). In principle, such enhanced background LD in the Choctaws could be caused by population bottleneck event(s) followed by recent population expansion. This investigation utilizes genome-scan data on 175 dinucleotide loci from 76 Choctaw individuals to seek genetic evidence of the demographic history of the Choctaw Nation. Of the 175 loci examined, 105 are in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The average unbiased homozygosity over the 105 loci for the Choctaws (29.3%) is significantly higher than that in the European descent group (20.9%); and when adjusted for sample-size differences, the Choctaw also exhibit a significantly smaller number of segregating alleles (6.65 vs. 8.14) at these loci. Both of these observations are consistent with the trend expected in an isolated population. Comparison of the allele size variance and gene diversity yields an imbalance index (lnβ) of 0.811 in the Choctaw. Of the 105 loci examined, 93 exhibit excess expected homozygosity in comparison to the expectations of a stepwise mutation model in a population of constant size. Taken together, these observations are consistent with a signature of the recent population size expansion of the Choctaws, preceded by bottleneck event(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Excess of homozygosity
  • Imbalance index
  • Population bottleneck


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