The alpha-globin genes of five black Americans, two Chinese, and five Filipinos with HbH disease (an alpha-thalassemia state in which there is a single functional alpha gene) were analyzed by restriction endonuclease techniques. All subjects were found to have one chromosome 16, lacking both alpha genes, and another containing a single alpha gene (--/-alpha). Restriction endonuclease patterns of the DNA obtained from all 12 subjects were identical and compatible with unequal crossing-over as the mechanism of origin of the single alpha gene in these individuals.

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