The Genetic Structure of the Kuwaiti and Failaka Island Populations: Y-chromosome & Mitochondrial DNA Variation
University of Kansas
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Recent studies applying multidisciplinary approaches suggest that the Anatomically Modern Homo sapiens (AMHS) passed through the Arabian Peninsula in their major diaspora out of Africa. The Arabian Peninsula is connected to three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the major diaspora, the Arabian Peninsula has witnessed numerous migrations among the three continents. The populations of the Arabian Peninsula have been investigated to better understand their evolutionary history. This dissertation investigated the paternal genetic structure of the Kuwaiti and Failaka Island populations using 15 loci Y-STR data. In addition, the maternal genetic structure of Failaka Island has been investigated using mtDNA HVS-I sequence data. This is the first genetic study to characterize Failaka Island population. The result showed that the Kuwaiti population has a high frequency of Y-haplogroup J1 (37%) similar to other Arabian populations. the highest Y-haplogroup frequency in Failaka Island is J2 (26%). According to the MDS plot, the Kuwaiti population is clustered with neighboring populations, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Failaka Island. However, maternal and paternal genetic structures of Failaka Island are closely related to Kuwait and Iran than Saudi Arabia. The paternal and maternal genetic structures of Kuwait are highly diverse and experienced more gene flow compared to Failaka Island which has experienced genetic drift with limited gene flow. Finally, Mantel tests show insignificant correlation between genetic and geographic distance matrices.
- Anthropology Dissertations and Theses 
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