Long homozygous chromosomal segments in reference families from the centre d'Etude du polymorphisme humain

Am J Hum Genet. 1999 Dec;65(6):1493-500. doi: 10.1086/302661.


Using genotypes from nearly 8,000 short tandem-repeat polymorphisms typed in eight of the reference families from the Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain (CEPH), we identified numerous long chromosomal segments of marker homozygosity in many CEPH individuals. These segments are likely to represent autozygosity, the result of the mating of related individuals. Confidence that the complete segment is homozygous is gained only with markers of high density. The longest segment in the eight families spanned 77 cM and included 118 homozygous markers. All individuals in family 884 showed at least one segment of homozygosity: the father and mother were homozygous in 8 and 10 segments with an average length of 13 and 16 cM, respectively, and covering a total of 105 and 160 cM, respectively. The progeny in family 884 were homozygous over 5-16 segments with average length 11 cM. The progeny in family 102 were homozygous over 4-12 segments with average length 19 cM. Of the 100 individuals in the other six families, 1 had especially long homozygous segments, and 19 had short but significant homozygous segments. Our results indicate that long homozygous segments are common in humans and that these segments could have a substantial impact on gene mapping and health.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosomes, Human / chemistry
  • Chromosomes, Human / genetics*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Consanguinity
  • Family Health
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Gene Conversion
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote*
  • Humans
  • Lod Score
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mothers
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences / genetics


  • Genetic Markers