Significant differences between Yemenite and Egyptian STR profiles and the influence on frequency estimations in Arabs

M. Klintschar A1, Nabil Al-Hammadi A3, Barbara Reichenpfader A2

A1 Department of Legal Medicine, University of Halle, Franzosenweg 1, D-06112 Halle/Saale, Germany e-mail:
A2 Department of Legal Medicine, University of Graz, Universitätsplatz 4, 8010 Graz, Austria e-mail:
A3 Department of Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, Sanaa University, Sanaa, Yemen


Abstract A population genetic study was performed on Yemenites using the set of nine short tandem repeat loci (STRs) D3S1358, VWA, FGA, D8S1179, D21S11, D18S51, D5S818, D13S317 and D7S820. Analysis of the data revealed that all loci were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and evidence of linkage equilibrium was found for only 1 out of 36 locus pairs. At seven loci the allelic distributions found in the Yemenite sample were significantly different from those found for an Arab population sample from Egypt. Nevertheless, we assume that the Yemenite database can be used for Arabs of unknown or foreign (non-Yemenite) origin in the absence of population-specific databases without exerting a significant bias on the biostatistical interpretation. In an experimental set-up (ethnic profile frequency ratio test), the impact of calculating multi-locus profile frequencies for foreign Arab individuals (Egyptians) using the Yemenite database instead of a region-specific one was negligible.