Background: Uyghurs are one of the many populations of Central Eurasia that is considered to be genetically related to Eastern and Western Eurasian populations. However, there are some different opinions on the relative importance of the degree of Eastern and Western Eurasian genetic influence. In addition, the genetic diversity of the Uyghur in different geographic locations has not been clearly studied.
Results: In this study, we are the first to report on the DNA polymorphism of cytochrome B in the Uyghur population located in Xinjiang in northwest China. We observed a total of 102 mutant sites in the 240 samples that were studied. The average number of mutated nucleotides in the samples was 5.126. A total of 93 different haplotypes were observed. The gene diversity and discrimination power were 0.9480 and 0.9440, respectively. There were founder and bottleneck haplotypes observed in Xinjiang Uyghurs. Xinjiang Uyghurs are more genetically related to Chinese population in genetics than to Caucasians. Moreover, there was genetic diversity between Uyghurs from the southern and northern regions. There was significance in genetic distance between the southern Xinjiang Uyghurs and Chinese population, but not between the northern Xinjiang Uyghurs and Chinese. The European vs. East Asian contribution to the ten regional Uyghur groups varies among the groups and the European contribution to the Uyghur increases from north to south geographically.
Conclusion: This study is the first report on DNA polymorphisms of cytochrome B in the Uyghur population. The study also further confirms that there are significant genetic differences among the Uyghurs in different geographical locations.