Development of an Okinawa panel for biogeographic inference of Okinawans
The Precision ID Ancestry Panel with 165 SNP markers was unable to differentiate between mainland Japanese and Okinawa Japanese or to distinguish either of them from other East Asian populations.
An Okinawa panel was developed with the aim of further separating Okinawa Japanese individuals from mainland Japanese and other Asian groups. Seventy-five SNPs were selected using the most informative markers from the literature. Further, 22 SNPs were selected to separate Okinawa Japanese at minimum SNPs.
Samples were collected from 48 unrelated individuals from mainland Japan and 46 unrelated residents of the Okinawa prefecture. Data were evaluated by STRUCTURE, principal component, and GenoGeographer analyses.
The 22 SNP set had similar levels of differentiation in STRUCTURE and PCA analyses as the 75 SNP set. GenoGeographer analysis showed that, out of the 46 Okinawa Japanese individuals, the 75 SNP and 22 SNP sets correctly assigned the Okinawan population as the most likely population of origin for 32 and 31 individuals, respectively.
Neither SNP set could completely differentiate between Okinawa Japanese and other Asian groups, however, these sets should be useful for crime investigation, when the sample, cost and time are limited.