Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 12; Issue 1 (March 2024)

Page No.: 8840-8848

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2023.259

Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium Study of Some Morphogenetic Traits in a Nigerian Population

Jaiyeoba-Ojigho Jennifer Efe *1, Lilian Ebele Chris-Ozoko 1, Enaohwo Mamerhi Taniyohwo 1, Ubogu Joseph Aforkogene 1, Emmanuel Ikechukwu Okolie 2, Innocent Onyesom 3.

*1 Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.

2 Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England.

3 Malaria Research Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.


Jaiyeoba-Ojigho Jennifer Efe: 0000-0002-5921-0876

Lilian Ebele Chris-Ozoko:  0000-0001-8092-4382

Innocent Onyesom: 0000-0001-7095-7666

Ubogu Joseph Aforkogene: NA

Emmanuel Ikechukwu Okolie: 0000-0002-8510-2828

Emmanuel Ikechukwu Okolie: 0000-0002-8510-2828

Corresponding Author: Jaiyeoba-Ojigho Jennifer Efe, Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. E-Mail: efemenaojigho@gmail.com


Background: The Hardy-Weinberg (HW) equilibrium studies the distribution of allelic and genotypic frequencies within a population. It provides a mathematical benchmark for a population that is evolving and not evolving.

Aim: This study investigated six morphogenetic traits among families in a Nigerian population using the Hardy-Weinberg principle with the aim of evaluating if the population was in HW equilibrium.

Methodology:   A total of 45 families comprising a father, mother and at least one offspring were conveniently sampled in Ogbe- Ijoh district in Delta State, Nigeria. Earlobe attachment, Hand clasping, Hitchhiker’s thumb, Leg folding, Morton’s toe and Widow’s peak were studied for their allelic and genotypic frequencies. The Chi-square test was used to analyse the association between these traits and sex, and conformance to the Mendelian inheritance pattern was evaluated with a Mendelian Chi-square.  The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium compared the allelic frequencies of parents with those of offspring.  

Results: Males had higher frequencies for attached earlobes, Morton’s toe and widow’s peak (35.1, 51.9, 49.4%), while the females showed a predominance for hitchhiker’s thumb, right hand clasping and leg folding (50,72.4,70.7%). There was no association between the traits and gender (p>0.05). From the Mendelian Chi-square, free earlobe, right-hand clasping, right leg folding, Morton’s toe (SBt), the recessive phenotype of hitchhiker’s thumb as well as widow’s peak were the dominant traits in the studied population (X2  < 3.841 ). The H-W equation revealed a deviation of the offspring’s genotype from those of the parents for earlobe, hand clasping, leg folding, Morton’s toe and widow’s peak (1:1:2 [1:1; 4]; 2: 1: 3 [1:1:2]; 3:1:3 [1:1:2]; 5: 1: 4 [6:1:5}; 5:1:4 [7: 1:5]). However, parental and offspring alleles were identical for hitchhiker’s thumb (5:1:5 [5:1: 5]). The homozygotes for both parents and offspring outnumbered the heterozygotes for all traits (295: 245; 156: 119).

Conclusion: The study showed that only the hitchhiker’s thumb was in HW equilibrium, suggesting that evolution may not occur at that locus.

Keywords:  Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Mendel, Traits, Nigeria, Population.


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Cite this article: Jaiyeoba-Ojigho Jennifer Efe, Lilian Ebele Chris-Ozoko, Enaohwo Mamerhi Taniyohwo, Ubogu Joseph Aforkogene, Emmanuel Ikechukwu Okolie, Innocent Onyesom. Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium Study of Some Morphogenetic Traits in a Nigerian Population. Int J Anat Res 2024;12(1):8840-8848. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2023.259