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PLoS Genet. 2006 Apr;2(4):e53. Epub 2006 Apr 14.

Global patterns in human mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome variation caused by spatial instability of the local cultural processes.

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  • 1Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Hubsiguda, Hyderabad, India.

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  • PLoS Genet. 2006 Jun;2(6):e95.

Abstract

Because of the widespread phenomenon of patrilocality, it is hypothesized that Y-chromosome variants tend to be more localized geographically than those of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Empirical evidence confirmatory to this hypothesis was subsequently provided among certain patrilocal and matrilocal groups of Thailand, which conforms to the isolation by distance mode of gene diffusion. However, we expect intuitively that the patterns of genetic variability may not be consistent with the above hypothesis among populations with different social norms governing the institution of marriage, particularly among those that adhere to strict endogamy rules. We test the universality of this hypothesis by analyzing Y-chromosome and mtDNA data in three different sets of Indian populations that follow endogamy rules to varying degrees. Our analysis of the Indian patrilocal and the matrilocal groups is not confirmatory to the sex-specific variation observed among the tribes of Thailand. Our results indicate spatial instability of the impact of different cultural processes on the genetic variability, resulting in the lack of universality of the hypothesized pattern of greater Y-chromosome variation when compared to that of mtDNA among the patrilocal populations.

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