A comprehensive population study in the Middle East was conducted using different genetic markers in order to establish a wider genetic profile of the Middle Eastern populations. The main goal of this study was to analyze DNA from samples collected from different locations, and produce genetic motifs and patterns that could be used to identify and distinguish the target populations. This information will allow us to analyze the ancestry of these populations, their interactions through time and space, and the effects these interactions have on the populations' structure. We have collected around 1300 individual samples from different populations in the Middle East ranging from Oman in southern Arabia, to the West Bank and Gaza in Palestine. Our samples can be divided into two primary groups: 320 samples come from Oman; this region is important because of its geographical proximity to Yemen which is perceived as the historical area where the Arabs originated and 800 samples came from Palestine, a central region in the Middle East that connects Asia and Africa and was a passageway between the two continents through history. The samples collected from Oman have genealogy charts that were provided by the participants, while the samples from Gaza lack the genealogy charts. DNA was extracted from the samples, amplified using PCR technology, sequenced and genotyped using non-recombining genetic markers. Short Tandem Repeats(STR) were screened in the samples.A specific STR marker, DYS458, exhibited an alternative allele at repeat number 18 which was a 2 base pair shift identified as microvariant 18.2. The samples showed an unusually high frequency of microvariant 18.2.When microvariant 18.2 haplotype was combined with Modal Cohen Haplotype (MCH) motifs, we were able to infer some genetic characteristics about our samples. The Cohen Modal haplotype was used in combination with the results of the 18.2 DYS458 analyses to construct a snapshot of the Middle East, using NETWORK software to analyze the relationship within and between the samples from Oman, which is located in Southern Arabia, and the areas North of Arabia (Jordan, Syria, and Palestine), which is also known as the Levant.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Microbiology and Molecular Biology



Date Submitted


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Middle East, Y chromosome, population genetics, DYS458, microvariants, Cohen modal haplotype

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Microbiology Commons