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Microevolution, migration, and the population structure of five Amerindian populations from Nicaragua and Costa Rica


Melton, PE and Baldi, NF and Barrantes, R and Crawford, MH, Microevolution, migration, and the population structure of five Amerindian populations from Nicaragua and Costa Rica, American Journal of Human Biology, 25, (4) pp. 480-90. ISSN 1042-0533 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc

DOI: doi:10.1002/ajhb.22382


Objective: This research examines the coevolution of languages and uniparental genetic marker (mitochondrial DNA [mtDNA] and nonrecombining Y-chromosome [NRY]) variation within five Lower Central American (Rama, Chorotega, Maléku, Zapatón-Huetar, and Abrojo-Guaymí) Amerindian groups. This pattern occurred since European contact.

Methods: We examined mtDNA sequence variation from the hypervariable region 1 (HVS-1) and NRY genetic variation using short tandem repeat (STR) loci (DYS19, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, and DYS439) and NRY haplogroups (Q1a3a, Q1a3*, C3b, R1b1b2, E1b1, G2a2, and I) identified through single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Phylogenetic analysis included multidimensional scaling (MDS), heterozygosity versus rii , and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA).

Results: Eighteen mtDNA haplotypes were characterized in 131 participants with 94.6% of these assigned to the Amerindian mtDNA subclades, A2 and B2. The Amerindian NRY haplogroup, Q1a3a, was present in all five groups and ranged from 85% (Zapatón-Huetar) to 35% (Chorotega). Four populations (Rama, Chorotega, Zapatón-Huetar, and Abrojo-Guaymí) were also characterized by the presence of NRY haplogroup R1b1b2 indicative of western European admixture. Seventy NRY STR haplotypes were identified of which 69 (97%) were population specific. MDS plots demonstrated genetic similarities between Mesoamericans and northern Chibchan Amerindian populations, absent in mtDNA analyses, which is further supported by heterozygosity versus rii results.

Conclusions: We conclude that although these linguistically related populations in geographic proximity demonstrate a high degree of paternal genetic differentiation, recent demographic events have dramatically altered the paternal genetic structure of the regions Amerindian populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mitochondrial DNA, Central America, Chibchan, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Y-Chromosome, population genetics.
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Anthropological genetics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Melton, PE (Dr Phillip Melton)
ID Code:141458
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-10-21
Last Modified:2021-06-21

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