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NEGATIVE EPISTASIS BETWEEN α+ THALASSAEMIA AND SICKLE CELL TRAIT CAN EXPLAIN INTERPOPULATION VARIATION IN SOUTH ASIA
Article first published online: 11 AUG 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 65, Issue 12, pages 3625–3632, December 2011
How to Cite
Penman, B. S., Habib, S., Kanchan, K. and Gupta, S. (2011), NEGATIVE EPISTASIS BETWEEN α+ THALASSAEMIA AND SICKLE CELL TRAIT CAN EXPLAIN INTERPOPULATION VARIATION IN SOUTH ASIA. Evolution, 65: 3625–3632. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01408.x
- Issue published online: 1 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 11 AUG 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 JUL 2011 07:27PM EST
- Received January 31, 2011, Accepted June 13, 2011
- human evolution;
- population genetics;
- sickle cell;
- South Asia
Recent studies in Kenya and Ghana have shown that individuals who inherit two malaria-protective genetic disorders of haemoglobin—α+ thalassaemia and sickle cell trait—experience a much lower level of malaria protection than those who inherit sickle cell trait alone. We have previously demonstrated that this can limit the frequency of α+ thalassaemia in a population in which sickle cell is present, which may account for the frequency of α+ thalassaemia in sub-Saharan Africa not exceeding 50%. Here we consider the relationship between α+ thalassaemia and sickle cell in South Asian populations, and show that very high levels of α+ thalassaemia combined with varying levels of malaria selection can explain why sickle cell has penetrated certain South Asian populations but not others.