A genetic study was carried out in two endogamous populations namely Hindus and Muslims in the Barak Valley Zone of Assam in India. Nei�s genetic distance and genetic identity between two populations were calculated on the basis of estimated allele frequencies of ABO and Rh blood group genes. The genetic distance between Hindus and Muslims was 0.12% for ABO gene and 0.10% for Rh gene. The genetic identity between two populations was estimated as 99.88% for ABO gene and 99.90% for Rh gene suggesting very high genetic similarity between these two populations. Observed heterozygosity estimate was higher in Hindus (0.5598 for ABO gene and 0.2822 for Rh gene) than Muslims (0.5346 for ABO gene and 0.2408 for Rh gene) indicating lesser inbreeding in Hindus than Muslims. Fixation index was lower in Hindus (16.02% for ABO gene and 43.56% for Rh gene) than Muslims (19.80% for ABO gene and 51.84% for Rh gene). Panmictic index was higher in Hindus than Muslims for both the genes. Fixation and panmictic indices revealed that during evolutionary process the Hindus maintained more outbreeding feature than the Muslims in the valley. In this study, the concepts of genetic load of a population and genotype fitness were extended to alleles to estimate the magnitude of allele genetic load (GL) and allele fitness for 3 alleles in ABO gene and for 2 alleles in Rh gene in two populations. The genetic load for O, A and B alleles were lower in Hindus than Muslims. Similar results for genetic load were found for the alleles of Rh gene in the comparison of two populations. The fitness estimates of O, A and B alleles for ABO gene and D and d alleles for Rh gene were higher in Hindus than Muslims. A population with low allele genetic load (GL) and high allele fitness (AF) might have greater survival advantage in nature in the absence of heterozygote advantage and higher adaptive value of the allele with increased frequency
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