Human populations show reduced DNA sequence variation at the factor IX locus

Curr Biol. 2001 May 15;11(10):774-8. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(01)00223-8.


Levels and patterns of human DNA sequence variation vary widely among loci. However, some of this variation may be due to the different populations used in different studies. So far, few studies of diverse human populations have compared different genetic loci for the same samples of populations and individuals. Here, we present new polymorphism data from intron 4 of the Factor IX gene (FIX) sequenced in diverse Old World populations. An explicit comparison is made with another X-linked gene, PDHA1, for which the sampling of individuals was very similar. Despite having a similar amount of divergence from chimpanzees, as do other nuclear genes, FIX has comparatively much less DNA sequence variation among humans. Nucleotide diversity at FIX is the lowest among the existing non-Y chromosome nuclear gene datasets and is less than 10% of the diversity found at PDHA1. Estimates of effective population size based on FIX are 8,558, about half of the value obtained for PDHA1, and the time to the most recent common ancestry among human FIX gene copies (282,000 years) is one of the most recent estimates reported for human genes. Analyses presented here suggest a history for the FIX region that includes recent positive directional selection, or background, selection. The general conclusion emerging is that very large variations can exist between the histories of similar genomic regions, even when sampling differences are minimized.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / genetics*
  • Factor IX / genetics*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase (Lipoamide)*
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / genetics


  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex
  • Factor IX
  • DNA
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase (Lipoamide)
  • pyruvate dehydrogenase E1alpha subunit