Y chromosome STR haplotypes in four populations from northwest Africa

E. Bosch A1, F. Calafell A1, A. Pérez-Lezaun A1, D. Comas A1, H. Izaabel A2, O. Akhayat A2, A. Sefiani A3, G. Hariti A4, J. M. Dugoujon A5, J. Bertranpetit A1

A1 Unitat de Biologia Evolutiva, Facultat de Ciències de la Salut i de la Vida, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Doctor Aiguader 80, 08003 Barcelona, Spain e-mail: jaume.bertranpetit@cexs.upf.es; Tel.: +34-93-5422840; Fax: +34-93-5422802
A2 Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, Faculté des Sciences, Université Ibnou Zohr, Agadir, Morocco
A3 Institut National d'Hygiène, Rabat, Morocco
A4 Hôpital Mustapha, CHU Alger Centre, Alger, Algeria
A5 CNRS ERS 1590, CHU Purpan, Toulouse, France


Abstract The eight short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphic systems mapping on the male-specific region of the human Y chromosome, DYS19, DYS388, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392 and DYS393, were typed in four populations from northwest (NW) Africa (Moroccan Arabs, southern Moroccan Berbers, Saharawis and Mozabites). Allele frequency distributions showed statistically significant differences for all loci among all the populations except for DYS19. Complete typing was obtained for 185 chromosomes, which showed 74 different haplotypes. The two most frequent haplotypes were found in 16.2% and 15.1% of the individuals, although the latter was almost exclusively found in the Mozabites. Locus and haplotype informativeness were measured by means of the gene diversity (D). The haplotype diversity ranged from 0.856 (Mozabites) to 0.967 (southern Moroccan Berbers). For some loci, allele frequencies in NW Africans were clearly different from those in Europeans. The most common NW African haplotype was found only in one individual out of a total of 494 Europeans typed for the whole STR set. Thus, NW African and European Y chromosomes are clearly differentiated.