Alu is a retrotransposable element, which refers to its ability to be copied and move from one region of DNA to another DNA region. At the PV92 locus of chromosome 16, Alu is a 300 bp dimorphic insert that can either be present or absent. It does not encode a protein product and has lost the ability to transpose. It is specific to humans, and differences in genotype and allele frequencies between human populations are important tools in understanding evolution. In this research, data was obtained and analyzed from 269 students at Charleston Southern University (CSU) belonging to four different races: Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, and White. Standard molecular biology procedures were used to isolate DNA from epithelial cheek cells, detect Alu inserts using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and determine genotypes by gel electrophoresis. Statistical analyses were performed using Microsoft Excel, and chi square and Hardy-Weinberg equations were used to test for goodness of fit and equilibrium, respectively. The results were separated by genotypes: homozygous present, heterozygous, or homozygous absent. Homozygous absent was the most common genotype. Results were further separated into categories of gender and race. No significant genotype differences were found between male and female or between Black and White students. Nevertheless, there were significant differences between all other race combinations. Hardy-Weinberg calculations indicate that mutations, natural selection, nonrandom mating, genetic drift, and gene flow are negligible, and the overall student population at CSU is in equilibrium.
Brooks, James M. and Thackston, Mackenzie L.
"Alu Dimorphism at the PV92 Locus of Chromosome 16 is in Equilibrium for University Student Population,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 20:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol20/iss2/3