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Am J Hum Genet. Feb 1999; 64(2): 508–517.
PMCID: PMC1377759

DNA variation in a 5-Mb region of the X chromosome and estimates of sex-specific/type-specific mutation rates.


We describe a new approach for the study of human genome variation, based on our solid-phase fluorescence chemical mismatch-cleavage method. Multiplex screening rates >/=80 kb/36-lane gels are achieved, and accuracy of mismatch location is within +/-2 bp. The density of differences between DNA from any two humans is sufficiently low, and the estimate of their position is accurate enough, to avoid sequencing of most polymorphic sites when defining their allelic state. Furthermore, highly variable sequences, such as microsatellites, are distinguished easily, so that separate consideration can be given to loci that do and do not fit the definition of infinite mutation sites. We examined a 5-Mb region of Xq22 to define the haplotypes of 23 men (9 Europeans, 9 Ashkenazim, and 5 Pygmies) by reference to DNA from one Italian man. Fifty-eight 1.5-kb segments revealed 102 segregating sites. Seven of these are shared by all three groups, two by Pygmies and Europeans, two by Pygmies and Ashkenazim, and 19 by Ashkenazim and Europeans. Europeans are the least polymorphic, and Pygmies are the most polymorphic. Conserved allelic associations were recognizable within 40-kb DNA segments, and so was recombination in the longer intervals separating such segments. The men showed only three segregating sites in a 16.5-kb unique region of the Y chromosome. Divergence between X- and Y-chromosome sequences of humans and chimpanzees indicated higher male mutation rates for different types of mutations. These rates for the X chromosomes were very similar to those estimated for the X-linked factor IX gene in the U.K. population.

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Selected References

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