Human-specific insertion/deletion polymorphisms in Indian populations and their possible evolutionary implications

Eur J Hum Genet. 1999 May-Jun;7(4):435-46. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5200317.


DNA samples from 396 unrelated individuals belonging to 14 ethnic populations of India, inhabiting various geographical locations and occupying various positions in the socio-cultural hierarchy, were analysed in respect of 8 human-specific polymorphic insertion/deletion loci. All loci, except Alu CD4, were found to be highly polymorphic in all populations. The levels of average heterozygosities were found to be very high in all populations and, in most populations, also higher than those predicted by the island model of population structure. The coefficient of gene differentiation among Indian populations was found to be higher than populations in most other global regions, except Africa. These results are discussed in the light of two possible scenarios of evolution of Indian populations in the broader context of human evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Alu Elements / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • CD4 Antigens / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / analysis
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • DNA, Mitochondrial