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Genetics. 1998 Nov;150(3):1133-41.

DNA variability and recombination rates at X-linked loci in humans.

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Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


We sequenced 11,365 bp from introns of seven X-linked genes in 10 humans, one chimpanzee, and one orangutan to (i) provide an average estimate of nucleotide diversity (pi) in humans, (ii) investigate whether there is variation in pi among loci, (iii) compare ratios of polymorphism to divergence among loci, and (iv) provide a preliminary test of the hypothesis that heterozygosity is positively correlated with the local rate of recombination. The average value for pi was low 0.063%, SE = 0.036%, about one order of magnitude smaller than for Drosophila melanogaster, the species for which the best data are available. Among loci, pi varied by over one order of magnitude. Statistical tests of neutrality based on ratios of polymorphism to divergence or based on the frequency spectrum of variation within humans failed to reject a neutral, equilibrium model. However, there was a positive correlation between heterozygosity and rate of recombination, suggesting that the joint effects of selection and linkage are important in shaping patterns of nucleotide variation in humans.

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