The TAS2R38 gene is involved in bitter taste perception. This study documents the distinctive diversity patterns in Northern Africa of functional SNPs rs713598 and rs1726866 at the TAS2R38 locus and places those patterns in the context of global TAS2R38 diversity. We analyzed data previously genotyped with Taqman Applied Biosystem for rs713598 and rs1726866 for 375 unrelated subjects (305 Tunisians from seven locations: Mahdia, Sousse, Kesra, Nebeur, Kairouan, Smar and Kerkennah plus 70 Libyans). Data were analyzed to present haplotypes and genotypes and were compared to the data from worldwide populations. We provide information about TAS2R38 diversity in a part of the world that is relatively under-studied. Considering respectively the two SNPs rs713598 and rs1726866, the (C-A) nucleotide haplotype leading to PV amino acid haplotype is extremely rare almost everywhere, but it is relatively frequent (between 6% and 10%) in Northern Africa where it does coexist with the globally common haplotypes (PA, AA and AV). Given its higher frequency in Northern Africa, we propose the (C-A) haplotype as a biogeographic marker for forensic purposes.
Mourali-Chebil, Soufia; Elkamel, Sarra; Boussetta, Sami; Pakstis, Andrew J.; Kidd, Kenneth K.; Benammar-Elgaaied, Amel; and Cherni, Lofti, "A Distinctive Pattern of Diversity for the TAS2R38 Gene in North Africa" (2022). Human Biology Open Access Pre-Prints. 194.