The Alu Yc1 subfamily: Sorting the wheat from the chaff

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Members of the Alu Yc1 subfamily are distinguished from the older Alu Y subfamily by a signature G→A substitution at base 148 of their 281-bp consensus sequence. Members of the much older and larger Alu Y subfamily could have by chance accumulated this signature G→A substitution and be misclassified as belonging to the Alu Yc1 subfamily. Using a Mahanalobis classification method, it was estimated that the "authentic" Alu Yc1 subfamily consists of approximately 262 members in the human genome. PCR amplification and further analysis was successfully completed on 225 of the Yc1 Alu family members. One hundred and seventy-seven Yc1 Alu elements were determined to be monomorphic (fixed for presence) in a panel of diverse human genomes. Forty-eight of the Yc1 Alu elements were polymorphic for insertion presence/ absence in diverse human genomes. The insertion polymorphism rate of 21% in the human genome is similar to rates reported previously for other "young" Alu subfamilies. The polymorphic Yc1 Alu elements will be useful genetic loci for the study of human population genetics. Copyright © 2005 S. Karger AG.

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Cytogenetic and Genome Research

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