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Founder Mutation

Founder Mutation

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Founder Mutation

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  1. Founder Mutation A special class of genetic mutations that often cause human disease Can be used as a tool to trace the migration and growth of specific human populations over thousands of years

  2. In everyone with a founder mutation • The damaged DNA is embedded in larger stretch of DNA identical to that of the founder • Phenomenon known as “identical by descent” • The entire shared region of DNA is known as the haplotype • The age of the founder mutation can be estimated by determining the length of the haplotype – they get shorter over time.

  3. Examples of Founder Mutations HFE iron overload far NW Europe S & E across Europe protection against anemia CFTR cystic fibrosis SE Europe/Middle East W & N. across Eur. Protection form diarrhea HbS Sickle cell disease Africa/Middle East To New World protection from malaria FV Leiden Blood clots Western Europe worldwide protection from sepsis ALDH2 alcohol toxicity Far East Asia N & W across Asia Protection from alcoholism hepatitis B LCT Lactose intolerance Asia W & N across Eurasia consumption of milk from domesticated animals

  4. PTC: GENES AND BITTER TASTE In 1931, a chemist named Arthur Fox was pouring some powdered PTC into a bottle. When some of the powder accidentally blew into the air, a colleague standing nearby complained that the dust tasted bitter. Fox tasted nothing at all. Curious how they could be tasting the chemical differently, they tasted it again. The results were the same. Fox had his friends and family try the chemical then describe how it tasted. Some people tasted nothing. Some found it intensely bitter, and still others thought it tasted only slightly bitter.

  5. Virtually all non-tasters worldwideare descended from a founder individual who had specific alterations in this geneThe founder mutation is extremely ancient- probably more than 100,000 years old.

  6. Seven different forms of the PTC gene exist in sub-Saharan AfricaBut only the major taster and the major non-taster forms have been found at significant frequency outside of African populations.

  7. PTC • PTC stands for phenylthiocarbamide. Also known as phenylthiourea, the chemical structure of PTC resembles toxic alkaloids found in some poisonous plants.

  8. “I’ll have the salad” • Plants are much more likely than animals to contain toxins. Because avoiding bitter plants would severely limit their food sources, strict herbivores have fewer bitter taste genes than omnivores or carnivores. Instead, animals that graze on plants have a high tolerance to toxins. Grazers have large livers that are able to break down toxic compound

  9. Curiously, there are also tasting and non-tasting chimpanzees. Unlike non-tasting humans, chimps that cannot taste PTC appear to lack functional PTC receptors