We studied five microsatellites (DXS995, DXS8076, DXS8114, DXS1002 and DXS1050) located in a region of very low recombination rate in the long arm of the human X chromosome (Xq13.3-Xq21.3). No recombination was seen in 291 meioses in CEPH families. To test whether haplotypes composed of the five microsatellites could differentiate among distinct human continental populations, we studied an international panel containing 72 males from Africa, Europe, Asia and the America. Haplotypic diversity was very high within these groups and no haplotypes were shared among them. This led to the hope that we might be able to identify continent-specific lineages. However, in a median joining network there was no clear discrimination of the different continental groups. We then tested whether we could identify X chromosomal lineages from different continental origins in Brazilians. We typed 180 white Brazilians from four different geographical regions and examined their proportions of haplotype sharing with Africans, Asians, Europeans and Amerindians. No phylogeographical patterns emerged from the data. Moreover, there were several instances of the same haplotype being shared by many (and in one instance all) groups, suggesting that recombination might be occurring. We thus studied pairwise the level of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between the microsatellites. No detectable linkage disequilibrium between the most external loci DXS995 and DXS1050 was observed. Thus, even though recombination may be absent on short time spans, as seen in the CEPH pedigrees, on a long term basis it occurs often enough to dissipate all linkage disequilibrium. On the other hand, we observed very strong linkage disequilibrium between the pairs DXS995/DXS8076 and DXS1002/DXS8114, raising the possibility of resequencing the segment between them to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in their intervals. The combination of X-linked microsatellites and SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium might provide a powerful new tool to investigate human demographic history.