Genetic variation and population structure of interleukin genes among seven ethnic populations from Karnataka, India


The extent of genetic variation and the degree of genetic differentiation among seven ethnic populations from Karnataka, India (Bunt, Havyak, Iyengar, Lingayath, Smartha, Vaishya, Vokkaliga), was investigated using four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs: IL-1A 4845, IL-1B 3954, IL-1B 511 and IL-1RA 2018) of the interleukin gene cluster. Allele frequencies varied by threefold among these populations, which also differed for gene diversity and heterozygosity levels. The average degree of population subdivision among these castes was low (FST = 0.02). However, pair-wise interpopulation differentiation ranged from 0–7%, indicating no detectable differentiation to moderate differentiation between specific populations. The results of phylogenetic analysis based on genetic distances between populations agreed with known social and cultural data on these ethnic groups. Variation in the allele frequencies, as well as differentiation, may be attributed to differential selection and demographic factors including consanguinity among the ethnic groups. Information on the distribution of functionally relevant polymorphisms among ethnic populations may be important towards developing community medicine and public health policies.

Journal of genetics