New Zealand Maoris (72 X chromosomes) have been compared with Pacific Island Polynesians (121 X chromosomes) and Caucasian New Zealanders (51 X chromosomes) as a control group to determine the allelic frequency of six RFLPs associated with the genes for two X linked diseases (haemophilia A and haemophilia B). RFLPs examined were BclI, XbaI, and BglI within the factor VIII gene, the factor VIII extragenic TaqI system, and the factor IX intragenic TaqI and XmnI sites. The information obtained facilitates the design of strategies for both carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis of haemophilia A within these groups. Strong linkage disequilibrium was observed between the factor VIII BclI and XbaI sites in Polynesians. Genetic counselling for Polynesians with haemophilia B continues, however, to rely on phenotypic diagnosis. The RFLP data from the two separate loci on the X chromosome in Polynesians show similarities with Chinese and Japanese populations, reinforcing theories of an early Polynesian ancestry originating in east Asia.
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