Alu Insertion Polymorphism: A New Type of Marker for Human Population Studies

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A PCR-based method was used to screen 462 individuals from Japan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia for an Alu family insertion polymorphism. The frequency of this Alu insertion shows significant heterogeneity among island subgroups of the Indonesian sample and between the Japanese-Indonesian populations and the Australian-New Guinean populations. The simple, rapid PCR-based screening technique and the significant frequency differences among populations demonstrate that Alu insertion polymorphisms are potentially valuable markers for studies of the evolutionary history and migration patterns of modem humans.

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