Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University
Saturday 3:45-4:00, Parlors
Southeast Asian Ovalocytosis (SAO) is a twenty-seven base pair deletion in the eleventh exon of the SLC4A1 gene that confers strong protection against falciparum malaria. This study examines the age of SAO in human populations from Southeast Asia and Melanesia (SAO’s geographic range) by observing the amount and pattern of variation among SAO chromosomes. We collected both diploid and haploid polymorphism data by amplifying a 5,000 base pair region up- and down-stream of the SAO mutation, and then experimentally phasing the alleles using allele-specific primers. We observe substantial genetic diversity among SAO chromosomes, suggesting that it may be a relatively ancient allele in comparison to the other malarial-resistant alleles studied thus far.
Funding for the project was provided by Northern Arizona University and the National Science Foundation (BCS-1062258).