Blood samples were obtained by venipuncture from random, consenting individuals of the three populations: Kongu Vellala Gounder (56), Irular (54), and Chakkiliyar (49). DNA was isolated using standard phenol/chloroform procedure (1). Fifteen autosomal microsatellite loci were amplified using the PowerPlex® 16 system (Promega Corporation, Madison) according to manufacturer's recommendations (2). The amplified products were separated by denaturing gel electrophoresis using the ABI Prism™ 377 DNA Sequencer (PE Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). Alleles were determined by comparison with the allelic ladder included in the kit.
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