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Open Access Research article

DYZ1 arrays show sequence variation between the monozygotic males

Sandeep Kumar Yadav1, Anju Kumari1, Saleem Javed2 and Sher Ali1*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular Genetics Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India

2 Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi 110062, India

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BMC Genetics 2014, 15:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-19

Published: 4 February 2014



Monozygotic twins (MZT) are an important resource for genetical studies in the context of normal and diseased genomes. In the present study we used DYZ1, a satellite fraction present in the form of tandem arrays on the long arm of the human Y chromosome, as a tool to uncover sequence variations between the monozygotic males.


We detected copy number variation, frequent insertions and deletions within the sequences of DYZ1 arrays amongst all the three sets of twins used in the present study. MZT1b showed loss of 35 bp compared to that in 1a, whereas 2a showed loss of 31 bp compared to that in 2b. Similarly, 3b showed 10 bp insertion compared to that in 3a. MZT1a germline DNA showed loss of 5 bp and 1b blood DNA showed loss of 26 bp compared to that of 1a blood and 1b germline DNA, respectively. Of the 69 restriction sites detected in DYZ1 arrays, MboII, BsrI, TspEI and TaqI enzymes showed frequent loss and or gain amongst all the 3 pairs studied. MZT1 pair showed loss/gain of VspI, BsrDI, AgsI, PleI, TspDTI, TspEI, TfiI and TaqI restriction sites in both blood and germline DNA. All the three sets of MZT showed differences in the number of DYZ1 copies. FISH signals reflected somatic mosaicism of the DYZ1 copies across the cells.


DYZ1 showed both sequence and copy number variation between the MZT males. Sequence variation was also noticed between germline and blood DNA samples of the same individual as we observed at least in one set of sample. The result suggests that DYZ1 faithfully records all the genetical changes occurring after the twining which may be ascribed to the environmental factors.

Monozygotic twins; Y chromosome; DYZ1