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Biochem Genet. 2011 Aug;49(7-8):427-42. doi: 10.1007/s10528-011-9419-7. Epub 2011 Jan 28.

Genomic structure of the immigrant Siddis of East Africa to southern India: a study of 20 autosomal DNA markers.

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Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, India.


The Siddis are a tribal group of African origin living in Karnataka, India. They have undergone considerable cultural change due to their proximity to neighboring population groups. To understand the biological consequences of these changes, we describe the genomic structure of the Siddis and the contribution from putative ancestral populations using 20 autosomal DNA markers. The distribution of Alu indel markers and a genetic distance analysis reveals their closer affinities with Africans. The levels of genomic diversity and heterozygosity are high in all the populations of southern India. Genetic admixture analysis reveals a predominant contribution from Africans, a lesser contribution from south Indians, and a slight one from Europeans. There is no evidence of gametic disequilibrium in the Siddis. The genetic homogeneity of the Siddis, in spite of its admixed origin, suggests the utility of this population for genetic epidemiological studies.

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