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Genetic Variation and Population Structure in Native Americans

Wang, Sijia
Lewis, Cecil M.
Jakobsson, Mattias
Ramachandran, Sohini
Bedoya, Gabriel
Rojas, Winston
Parra, Maria V.
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Published in PLOS Genetics. 2007, vol. 3, no. 11, p. e185
Abstract We examined genetic diversity and population structure in the American landmass using 678 autosomal microsatellite markers genotyped in 422 individuals representing 24 Native American populations sampled from North, Central, and South America. These data were analyzed jointly with similar data available in 54 other indigenous populations worldwide, including an additional five Native American groups. The Native American populations have lower genetic diversity and greater differentiation than populations from other continental regions. We observe gradients both of decreasing genetic diversity as a function of geographic distance from the Bering Strait and of decreasing genetic similarity to Siberians—signals of the southward dispersal of human populations from the northwestern tip of the Americas. We also observe evidence of: (1) a higher level of diversity and lower level of population structure in western South America compared to eastern South America, (2) a relative lack of differentiation between Mesoamerican and Andean populations, (3) a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating peoples to traverse in comparison with inland routes, and (4) a partial agreement on a local scale between genetic similarity and the linguistic classification of populations. These findings offer new insights into the process of population dispersal and differentiation during the peopling of the Americas.
Keywords AmericasPopulation geneticsHuman history
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WANG, Sijia et al. Genetic Variation and Population Structure in Native Americans. In: PLOS Genetics, 2007, vol. 3, n° 11, p. e185. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0030185

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Deposited on : 2012-01-27

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