Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ethnic Clustering Of Male Genes In India

Date:
August 18, 1999
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Can the rules of society, like those of nature, affect the genetic makeup of human populations? In this month's issue of Genome Research, Nitai Pada Bhattacharyya (Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics), Partha Majumder (Indian Statistical Institute) and colleagues take a look at this issue by asking whether social customs in India have restricted the flow of male genes between ethnic populations.

Can the rules of society, like those of nature, affect the genetic makeup of human populations? In this month's issue of Genome Research, Nitai Pada Bhattacharyya (Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics), Partha Majumder (Indian Statistical Institute) and colleagues take a look at this issue by asking whether social customs in India have restricted the flow of male genes between ethnic populations.

About 80% of the people in India belong to Hindu caste groups of varying social rank, and marriage between individuals of equivalent rank is customary. If, however, a man marries a woman of lower rank, he may retain his own caste and rank; the converse situation, a woman marrying a man of lower rank, is very rare. Bhattacharyya and colleagues examined the effect of this social system on male gene flow by comparing Y chromosome DNA from males of 10 different castes or tribes in the northern and eastern regions of India.

In particular, the researchers examined six Y chromosome markers, unique DNA sequences that can differ slightly between individuals; when any two males had identical sequence at all six markers, they were classified in the same "haplotype." Bhattacharyya and colleagues discovered that few haplotypes (15%) were shared between different castes or tribes. When they divided the castes according to rank (upper, middle, and lower), they also found little haplotype sharing between ranks. These results suggest limited flow of male genes between subpopulations in India, consistent with its historically prevalent marriage system.

Intriguingly, what little sharing the researchers did observe between populations displayed certain trends. Upper castes in fact occasionally shared haplotypes with lower castes, but only with those from a different geographical region. Bhattacharrya and colleagues speculate that this skewed sharing reflects a typical fate of high-disparity unions between upper caste men and lower caste women. In such unions, they propose, the couple may frequently leave their home, settle in a new region, and merge into a lower, rather than upper, caste. Such movements could provide what this study suggests is a rare conduit for male genes across social ranks in India.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Ethnic Clustering Of Male Genes In India." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990818070538.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (1999, August 18). Ethnic Clustering Of Male Genes In India. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990818070538.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Ethnic Clustering Of Male Genes In India." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990818070538.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins