Genetic Structure Among 38 Populations from the United States Based on 11 U.S. Core Y Chromosome STRs*

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A DNA database consisting of the 11 Y chromosome short-tandem-repeat (Y-STR) recommended by the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods is constructed for 2517 individuals from 38 populations in the United States. The population samples derive from five ethnic groups currently living in 10 states. A multidimensional scaling (MDS) plot places the populations into four discrete clusters (African Americans (AA), European Americans (EA), Hispanic Americans (HA), and Asian Americans (SA)) and one dispersed cluster of Native Americans. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicates that a large proportion of the total genetic variance is partitioned among ethnic groups (24.8%), whereas only a small amount (1.5%) is found among-populations within ethnic groups. Separate AMOVA analyses within each ethnic group show that only the NA sample contains statistically significant among-population variation. Pair wise population differentiation tests do uncover heterogeneity among EA and among HA populations; however, this is due to only a single sample within each group. The analyses support the creation of AA, EA, HA, and Asian American databases in which samples from different geographic regions within the United States are pooled. We recommend that separate databases be constructed for different NA groups.

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