Population genetics of hypervariable loci: analysis of PCR based VNTR polymorphism within a population.

R. Chakraborty, M. Fornage, R. Gueguen, E. Boerwinkle

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132 Scopus citations


Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based method, genotypes at two hypervariable loci (3' to the Apo-B-structural gene and at the ApoC-II gene) were determined by size classification of alleles. Genotype data at the Apo-B locus (Apo-B VNTR) were obtained on 240 French Caucasians; the sample size for the ApoC-II VNTR was 162. For 160 individuals two-locus genotype data were available. Applications of some recently developed statistical methods to these data indicate that both of these loci are at Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) and there is no indication of allelic associations between these two unlinked loci. In addition, the observed numbers of alleles (12 for the Apo-B and 11 for the ApoC-II VNTR loci) are also consistent with their respective expectations based on the observed heterozygosities (76.9% for the Apo-B and 85.9% for the ApoC-II loci) suggesting genetic homogeneity of this population-based sample. The multimodal distribution of allele sizes observed for both loci indicate that the production of new alleles at such VNTR loci may be caused by more than one molecular mechanism. The utility of such highly polymorphic loci for human genetic research and forensic applications are discussed in the context of these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 1991


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