Y-chromosomal STR Variation in Malays of Kelantan and Minang
By Hoh Boon Peng1,*, Nur Shafawati Abdul Rajab1, Ooi Keat Gin2 and Zilfalil Alwi1
1 Human Genome Centre, School of Medical Sciences, Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia,
16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
2 School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia
*E-mail: hbpeng@kb.usm.my
Malays in Malaysia are a mixture of different races, caused by the history of migration centuries ago and may
consist of 14 sub-ethnic groups. We used the Y-chromosomal STR (Y-STRs) to genotype two of the sub-ethnic
groups namely, Kelantan and Minang Malays. In this ongoing study we investigated the polymorphisms of six YSTR
loci namely, DYS19, DYS388, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392 and DYS393 in the two populations mentioned.
Twenty males (10 Kelantanese and 10 Minang) were analyzed by PCR amplifications followed by 8% nondenatured
polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Randomly selected samples were sequenced for validation. Results
revealed a total of 32 alleles, ranging from three (DYS19) to nine (DYS390). Allele frequency distributions
ranged from 0.05 (DYS388, DYS 391, and DYS393) to 0.65 (DYS388). Although the level of polymorphisms of
the two sub-groups were similar (average number of alleles, 4; average heterozygosity, 0.6), allele frequency
distribution appeared to be imbalanced. Significant differences of allele frequency distributions were observed
in loci DYS390, DYS391, and DYS393. None of the individuals shared the same haplotypes. However, errors of
scoring and factors like small sample size should be considered. Preliminary results revealed polymorphisms in
the six loci among the two Malay sub-ethnic groups. Significant differences of the allele frequency distributions
were observed, but a further investigation with a larger sample size is warranted to confirm these findings.

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