Genetic load in an isolated tribal population of south India

Ghosh, Aloke K. ; Majumder, Partha P. (1979) Genetic load in an isolated tribal population of south India Human Genetics, 51 (2). pp. 203-208. ISSN 0340-6717

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The Kota of Nilgiri Hills, Tamilnadu, are an isolated tribal population and occupy the lowest stratum in the local social hierarchy. They have developed an economic symbiotic relationship with other tribes of the Nilgiri Hills (e.g., Toda, Kurumba, Badaga), but have almost no social relationship with other communities, such as the Hindu and Muslim, communities, etc. The total population of the Kota is about 1200. Consanguineous marriages are highly favoured in this group. This paper presents data on prenatal, infant and adolescent mortality in relation to the degree of inbreeding. No perceptible difference has been found in mortality figures between consanguineous and non-consanguineous marriages. This may be due to the long history of inbreeding among the Kota. No case of visible congenital malformation has been noticed. The estimates of genetic load as revealed by inbreeding data indicate that genetic load in the Kota is low (perhaps about 1 lethal equivalent per gamete); it is also low in comparison with that in other Indian populations.

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