Effect of inbreeding avoidance on Hardy-Weinberg expectations: examples of neutral and selected loci

Genet Epidemiol. 1999;17(3):165-73. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2272(1999)17:3<165::AID-GEPI2>3.0.CO;2-L.


Although all human populations avoid close inbreeding, the effect of inbreeding avoidance on genotype proportions has not been formally considered. This paper examines the expected proportions of genotype frequencies after adjusting the Hardy-Weinberg model for close inbreeding avoidance in an inbred population. This corrected model was used to evaluate genotype distributions for HLA haplotypes and haplotypes created from three microsatellite loci on human chromosome 13 in a sample of 315 married Hutterites. In this sample, there were five individuals who were homozygous for an HLA haplotype and 15 individuals who were homozygous for a chromosome 13 haplotype. The expected numbers of homozygotes were 21 for HLA and 26 for chromosome 13 haplotypes using a model adjusted for overall inbreeding (P = 0.00031 for HLA and P = 0.019 for chromosome 13) and 18 for HLA and 22 chromosome 13 haplotypes using a model adjusted for both overall inbreeding and close inbreeding avoidance (P = 0. 0016 for HLA and P = 0.099 for chromosome 13). The model that takes into account both overall inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance provided a better fit to the observed genotype distributions for chromosome 13 haplotypes (P = 0.099), suggesting that nonrandom aspects of Hutterite mating structure, other than inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance, have small effects on genotype distributions in the population. The fact that significant deficiencies of HLA homozygotes persist after taking into account inbreeding avoidance further suggests that factors related to the HLA haplotype per se influence the genotype proportions at HLA loci in the Hutterites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 13 / genetics*
  • Consanguinity*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • Haplotypes / genetics*
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage / ethnology*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Taboo*


  • HLA Antigens