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Am J Hum Genet. Jul 1999; 65(1): 208–219.
PMCID: PMC1378092

Sex-specific migration patterns in Central Asian populations, revealed by analysis of Y-chromosome short tandem repeats and mtDNA.

Abstract

Eight Y-linked short-tandem-repeat polymorphisms (DYS19, DYS388, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, and DYS393) were analyzed in four populations of Central Asia, comprising two lowland samples-Uighurs and lowland Kirghiz-and two highland samples-namely, the Kazakhs (altitude 2,500 m above sea level) and highland Kirghiz (altitude 3,200 m above sea level). The results were compared with mtDNA sequence data on the same individuals, to study possible differences in male versus female genetic-variation patterns in these Central Asian populations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed a very high degree of genetic differentiation among the populations tested, in discordance with the results obtained with mtDNA sequences, which showed high homogeneity. Moreover, a dramatic reduction of the haplotype genetic diversity was observed in the villages at high altitude, especially in the highland Kirghiz, when compared with the villages at low altitude, which suggests a male founder effect in the settlement of high-altitude lands. Nonetheless, mtDNA genetic diversity in these highland populations is equivalent to that in the lowland populations. The present results suggest a very different migration pattern in males versus females, in an extended historical frame, with a higher migration rate for females.

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Selected References

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