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Mol Biol Evol. 1998 Feb;15(2):138-42.

Sequence variation in ZFX introns in human populations.

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Human Genetics Center, University of Texas, Houston 77225, USA.


DNA variation in human populations was studied by examining the last intron of the ZFX gene (about 1, 151 bp) with a worldwide sample of 29 individuals. Only one polymorphic site was found, which is located in an Alu sequence. This polymorphism is present at an intermediate frequency in all populations studied, and could be a shared polymorphism or due to migration among populations in Asia, Europe, and Africa. The nucleotide diversity is 0.04%, supporting the view that the level of nucleotide variation in nuclear DNA is very low in humans. From the sequence data, the age (T) of the most recent common ancestor of the sampled sequences is estimated: the mode of T is about 306,000 years, and the 95% confidence interval of T is 162,000-952,000 years. This mode estimate is considerably older than the estimates from Y-linked sequences.

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