Exp Mol Med.  2006 Dec;38(6):662-667.

Heterozygosities of 735 microsatellite markers and background linkage disequilibrium in the Korean population

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon 200-704, Korea. jwonk@smc.samsung.co.kr
  • 2Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 135-710, Korea


Suitability of a specific population for linkage disequilibrium mapping studies of complex traits may be assessed by investigating the background linkage disequilibrium (BLD). We are unaware of studies for quantifying the degree of BLD in the Korean population, although the population may be a good candidate for mapping of complex trait genes through whole-genome association studies. It is useful to investigate the properties of genetic isolates in East Asia and to compare them to genetic isolates in Europe. We analyzed the extent of BLD in the Korean population using 735 microsatellite markers and compared the results with the Icelander population, which is one of the European expanded genetic isolates. The Korean population exhibited a level of BLD comparable with the Icelander population. The inference of population structure using the model with admixture showed that each individual has allele copies originating from K populations in equal proportions. Therefore, we believe that factors other than genetic distance, such as recent admixture, have not contributed to the level of BLD. Our results showed that the Korean population, which is an expanded population with no evidence of admixture, has a BLD level comparable with the Icelander population. Therefore, the Korean population can be used for fine mapping of either complex traits or monogenic diseases.


Asian continental ancestry group; genetic markers; linkage disequilibrium; microsatellite repeats; population characteristics

MeSH Terms

Microsatellite Repeats/*genetics
Linkage Disequilibrium/*genetics
Chromosomes, Human/genetics
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