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Genetic variation and population structure of five ethnic groups from Punjab, North-West India: Analysis of MHC class I polymorphic Alu insertions (POALINs)

Singh, Gagandeep, Sandhu, Harkirat Singh, Sharma, Rubina, Srinivas, Yellapu, Matharoo, Kawaljit, Singh, Manroop, Bhanwer, A.J.S.
Gene 2019 v.701 pp. 173-178
ancestry, anthropology, forensic sciences, gene frequency, genetic distance, genetic variation, genomics, genotyping, haplotypes, heterozygosity, human population, loci, major histocompatibility complex, multidimensional scaling, nationalities and ethnic groups, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, population structure, provenance, India
Genetic variation and differentiation of five ethnic groups from Punjab, North-West India was characterized by analyzing data on polymorphic Alu insertions (POALINs) within the class I genomic region of major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which is completely non-existent in Indian population. The haplotype frequency, distribution and heterozygosity among these groups and their potential implications in molecular anthropology and evolutionary studies were also determined. A total of 479 unrelated healthy individuals representing five different ethnic groups: Banias, Brahmins, Khatri, Jat Sikhs and Scheduled Castes were genotyped for five MHC Alu elements (AluHG, AluMICB, AluHJ, AluTF and AluHF) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All the loci were found to be polymorphic among the studied populations. No significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed, except for the AluHJ locus in Brahmins. The POALINs varied in allele frequency between 0.0260 and 0.4427. The average heterozygosity among the studied groups ranged from 0.1937 in Banias to 0.2666 in Jat Sikhs. The genetic differentiation among the studied groups was observed to be of the order of 0.01302. Single POALIN haplotypes were found to be more frequent than multiple POALIN haplotypes. The results of inter-population differentiations, haplotype frequencies, genetic distances, multidimensional scaling, phylogenetic and structure analyses indicated close genetic relationships between the five ethnic groups of Punjab, North-West India. Analyses of polymorphic Alu loci of MHC genomic region may represent reliable information about the ancestry, demographic history and geographic origins of the various human populations, facilitating better understanding of the evolutionary, forensic and epidemiological prospective.