Phenotypic and Allelic Distribution of ABO Blood Groups, Rhesus Blood Type, PTC Taste Sensitivity, and Color Blindness among the Pnars of West Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya, India

The genetic structures of populations belonging to varied races and ethnic groups differ considerably in genetic markers distribution and occurrence frequencies. The present study is an attempt to describe the genetic composition of the Pnar tribe of Meghalaya, Northeast India using four genetic markers viz., ABO blood groups, Rhesus {Rh(D)} blood type, phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) taste sensitivity, and color-blindness. Data were collected from 200 adult individuals, comprising of 100 males and females each. Based on our results, the percentage frequencies of A, B, AB, and O blood groups are 58%, 50%, 18%, and 74%, respectively. The goodness of fit test revealed significant (p<0.05) deviation of the Pnar population from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium concerning ABO blood groups. Our investigation regarding Rhesus blood type reported only one case of Rh –ve individual out of the 200 samples examined (99.50%Rh +ve vs. 0.50%Rh –ve). Regarding PTC taste sensitivity, 75% of the participants were tasters, while 25% were non-tasters. No case of red-green color deficient individual could be detected. In addition, sex differences in all the genetic markers were noted to be statistically insignificant (p>0.05). Our findings revealed a great deal of genetic affinity of the Pnars with the neighboring populations of northeast India, particularly with other tribes of Meghalaya.