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A Primer: From DNA to Life

Cells contain DNAthe hereditary material of all living systems.

The genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA and is organized into chromosomes.

DNA contains genes whose sequence specifies how and when to build proteins.

Proteins perform most essential life functions, often working together as molecular machines.

Molecular machines interact through complex, interconnected pathways and networks to make the cell come alive.

Communities of cells range from associations of microbes (each a single cell) to the hundred trillion cells in a human being.

Population stratification in European male populations reflected by Y-STR haplotypes

Population-specific parameters as extracted from the European database:

Fraction of different minimal haplotypes per population 



Fraction of different minimal haplotypes per population which are found only in this sample 


To assess the inter-population variability of Y-STR haplotypes among 41 European populations logged in the database until October 2000, Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA; Excoffier et al. 1992, Roewer et al. 1996) was applied. AMOVA is based upon the mutational differences between pairs of different haplotypes under a Single Step Mutation (SSM) model. This approach yields pairwise Fst values reflecting how much of the total molecular variance among two populations is explicable in terms of population difference. Fst values were calculated on basis of 7-locus haplotypes excluding the bilocal systems DYS385 and YCAII and are available from M. Krawczak (Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff C14 4XN, UK; e-mail:krawczak

) upon request. Most of the pairwise comparisons in the tested Caucasian population resulted in extremely low (non-significant) Fst values, thereby reflecting the genetic homogeneity of the European subpopulations tested. The figure below shows a neighbour joining tree constructed from pair-wise Fst values between the 41 populations covered by YRHD (by November 2000) plus a Turkish and a Roma population. Ellipses mark population clusters characterized by a statistically significant Fst value (p<0.05) separating all populations inside the cluster from all populations outside the cluster.  

Figure 1.
(October 2000)
Search for pairwise Phist (F) values:
[Note: The values have been calculated for the population samples logged until October 2000.]  

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related reference:
Roewer L, Krawczak M, Willuweit S, Nagy M, Alves C, Amorim A, Anslinger K, Augustin C, Betz A, Bosch E, Cagliá A, Carracedo A, Corach D, Dekairelle AF, Dobosz T, Dupuy BM, Füredi S, Gehrig C, Gusmaő L, Henke J, Henke L, Hidding M, Hohoff C, Hoste B, Jobling MA, Kärgel HJ, de Knijff P, Lessig R, Liebeherr E, Lorente M, Martínez-Jarreta B, Nievas P, Nowak M, Parson W, Pascali VL, Penacino G, Ploski R, Rolf B, Sala A, Schmidt U, Schmitt C, Schneider PM, Szibor R, Teifel-Greding J, Kayser M (2000) Online reference database of European Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat (STR) haplotypes. For Sci International (Proceedings II. Forensic Y-user Workshop, For. Sci. Int.(2001) 118(2-3): 103-111)  

last update June the 26th in the year of 2002
© 2004
Institut für Rechtsmedizin
Genetisches Forschungslabor
Medizinische Fakultät der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin(Charité)