Genetic Chaos

Monday, May 10, 2004

Genetic variation at fifteen microsatellite loci in human populations of India

The genetic diversity in the Indian populations has been analysed at fifteen microsatellite loci among fifty-four endogamous groups comprising 3647 individuals. The populations belong to all major linguistic families and ethnic groups from diverse geographical regions of the country, occupying different positions in the socio-cultural hierarchy. Allelic variation was studied at all the fifteen microsatellite loci and was found to be 83.6%, which is higher than the values obtained from classical genetic markers. The coefficient of genetic differentiation (GST) among the fifty-four populations was also found to be higher (4.1%) than that of the most global populations. Analysis of molecular variance and the genetic affinity among various linguistic, geographical and ethnic groups were plotted based on principal component analysis, which indicated that geographical proximity was the main factor determining genetic affinity among the populations (0.92%). The maximum genetic variance ‘between populations within groups’ could be attributed more to the social status (2.37%) than to the geographical (1.66%), ethnic (0.83%) or linguistic groups (0.79%). Our work clearly demonstrates that STR markers may delineate different ethnic, linguistic and geographical populations of India.

PDF file