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Minisatellite diversity supports a recent African origin for modern humans

Nature Geneticsvolume 13pages154160 (1996) | Download Citation



In a study of human diversity at a highly variable locus, we have mapped the internal structures of tandem–repetitive alleles from different populations at the minisatellite MS205 (D76S309).The results give an unusually detailed view of the different allelic structures represented on modern human chromosomes, and of the ancestral relationships between them. There was a clear difference in allelic diversity between African and non–African populations. A restricted set of allele families was found in non–African populations, and formed a subset of the much greater diversity seen on African chromosomes. The data strongly support a recent African origin for modern human diversity at this locus.

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Author notes

    • Jaume Bertranpetit

    Present address: Laborator d'Antropologia, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av Diagonal 645, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain


  1. Department of Genetics, University a/Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

    • John A.L. Armour
    • , Celia A. May
    • , Emilce E. Vega
    •  & Alec J. Jeffreys
  2. Zoologisches Institutder Universitat Munchen, P.O. Box 2021 36, D-80021, München, Germany

    • Tiiu Anttinen
    • , Antti Sajantila
    •  & Svante Pääbo
  3. Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8005, USA

    • Judith R. Kidd
    •  & Kenneth K. Kidd
  4. Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Raddiffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, OX39DU, UK

    • Emilce E. Vega
  5. Department of Genetics, University ofNottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG72UH, UK

    • John A.L. Armour


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