Genetic Chaos

Monday, April 10, 2006

Allele frequency distributions of six hypervariable loci (D1S80, APOB, D4S43, vW1, F13A and DYS19) in two African-Brazilian communities from the Amazon region

The allele frequency distributions of three VNTR (D1S80, APOB and D4S43) and three STR (vW1, F13A1 and DYS19) loci were investigated in two Afro-Brazilian populations from the Amazon: Curiau and Pacoval. Exact tests for population differentiation revealed significant differences in allele frequency between populations only for the D1S80 and APOB loci. A statistically significant deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed only in the D1S80 locus of the Pacoval sample. A neighbor-joining tree was constructed based on DA genetic distances of allele frequencies in four Afro-Brazilian populations from the Amazon (Pacoval, Curiau, Trombetas, and Cametá), along with those from Congo, Cameroon, Brazilian Amerindians, and Europeans. This analysis revealed the usefulness of these Amp-FLPs for population studies - African and African-derived populations were closely grouped, and clearly separated from Amerindians and Europeans. Estimates of admixture components based on the gene identity method revealed the prevalence of the African component in both populations studied, amounting to 51% in Pacoval, and to 43% in Curiau. The Amerindian component was also important in both populations (37% in Pacoval, and 24% in Curiau). The European component reached 33% in Curiau.

PDF file

Y chromosome diversity in Brazilians: switching perspectives from slow to fast evolving markers

We have previously shown that the Y chromosomes of ‘white’ Brazilians have their immediate geographical origin in Europe, with low frequency of sub-Saharan African chromosomes and virtual absence of Amerindian contribution. The typing of slow evolving polymorphisms on the Y chromosome also revealed no differences between Brazilians and Portuguese, the bulk of European immigrants to Brazil, and even among Brazilians from distinct regions of Brazil, the latter being in sharp contrast with mtDNA data. In order to test if the lack of differentiation is a sex-biased and not a marker-biased phenomenon, we decided to study faster evolving Y chromosome markers in samples from Brazil and Portugal previously studied. The population structure revealed by this work confirmed that there were indeed no significant differences between Brazil and Portugal and no population differentiation within the four geographical regions of Brazil, suggesting that this phenomenon is unrelated to the nature of the markers typed. Nevertheless the fast evolving markers did uncover a higher within population diversity in Brazil than Portugal, which could be explained by the input of diverse European Y chromosomes carried by several migration waves to Brazil. Our present data highlight the significance of typing and combining Y markers that evolve according to distinct mutational paces to usefully assess the levels of diversity in a given population, and can be applied in the study of populations derived from distinct geographical origins such as the Brazilians.

PDF file