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World's Most Diverse Populations

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  • World's Most Diverse Populations

    I have heard the term "at the crossroads of civilisations" to describe countries or peoples who have a lot of cultural and ethnic diversity. The term assumes almost quantifiable attributes when viewed in the context of genetics. One only has to look at the genetic composition (read 'haplogroup variety') of various population groups to see the diversity. A good starting point is J D McDonald's "World Haplogroups Map", 2004 which shows pie-charts of various population groups (54 populations for Y-Haplogroups and 24 populations for mtDNA Haplogroups):

    http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/Wo...%20mcdonald%22

    A careful study reveals that Uzbeks takes the prize for being the most genetically diverse population group, with 16 Y-Haplogroups as well as 14 mtDNA Haplogroups. The rest of the Central Asian -stan states trail at around 10-12 haplogroups of each type.

    While the maps are by no means representative of the thousands of population groups world-wide, it does give a general idea of what genetic diversity means.

    Pakistanis, though not represented as a 'population group' in McDonald's map, figure prominently in Sengupta's study with a remarkable 30 Y-Haplogroups (incl sub-clades), while Indians have 22 Y-Haplogroups in the same study.
    Last edited by Kaiser; 21 August 2006, 12:39 PM.

  • #2
    Regarding diversity, there is also an issue of how to count the groups. Letter names represent different sub-branches of the tree. Eg. the E's are more diverse than the whole K-R group. So I'd say certain African countries have more diversity, eg. Ethiopia. This is even more true for mtDNA, where most of the haplogroups have names like Mx. With all the M's, India has lot more mtdna diversity than the rest of Eurasia.

    cacio

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cacio
      Regarding diversity, there is also an issue of how to count the groups. Letter names represent different sub-branches of the tree. Eg. the E's are more diverse than the whole K-R group. So I'd say certain African countries have more diversity, eg. Ethiopia. This is even more true for mtDNA, where most of the haplogroups have names like Mx. With all the M's, India has lot more mtdna diversity than the rest of Eurasia.

      cacio
      So, are you saying we K-R types are genetic new kids on the block, cacio?



      (Okay. Now the wait for a a joke about the Backstreet Boys begins.)

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      • #4
        Cacio: You have a point about sub-clades. My post is basically in the context of the McDonald maps; the observation of 'diversity' is largely generic.

        Pakistan's example, however, includes the sub-clades; in this case the idea was to show that despite a population that is seven times less than India's and, also with a smaller geographical expanse, it has higher genetic diversity. With this sort of 'cladistic' haplogroup diversity as a reference, are there some other definite examples amongst various population groups that can be considered as more diverse?
        Last edited by Kaiser; 21 August 2006, 10:10 PM.

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