Microsatellite Variation at 24 STR Loci in Three Endogamous Groups of Uttar Pradesh, India

We have studied variation at 24 microsatellite markers among 50 individuals from each of three endogamous groups, Bhargavas, Chaturvedis, and non-Bhargava, non-Chaturvedi Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh, India. The number of alleles at the loci tested varied from 4 to 11, with an average of 6 at each locus. Heterozygosity was found to be quite high at all loci in the three subpopulations. It varied between 0.44 to 0.84 among Bhargavas (average 0.6510), 0.44 to 0.80 among Chaturvedis(average 0.6633±), and 0.42 to 0.85 among Brahmins (average 6.694±). Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium analysis revealed that these populations are under genetic equilibrium at almost all the loci tested. Comparisons of allele frequency between Bhargavasand Chaturvedis showed that they differed significantly at 14 short tandem repeat (STR) markers (p < 0.001), while Chaturvedis and Brahmins differed at 6 (p < 0.05) and Brahmins and Bhargavas at 8 (p < 0.05). Average FIS and FST for the 24 STR markers was -0.02 and 0.013, respectively. We used both unweighted pair group with arithmetic mean and principal components analysis to evaluate genetic distances among the three groups. Our results revealed that although there were differences at particular allele frequencies between Bhargavas vs. Brahmins, Bhargavas vs. Chaturvedis, and Brahmins vs. Chaturvedis, these differences were not statistically significant when combined over all 24 STR markers between Chaturvedis vs. Brahmins and Bhargavas vs. Brahmins. The genetic distance analysis revealed that Bhargavas are slightly apart from the other two populations.