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Genome-wide distribution of ancestry in Mexican Americans

Migrations to the new world brought together individuals from Europe, Africa and the Americans. Inter-mating between these migrant and indigenous populations led to the subsequent formation of new admixed populations, such as African and Latino Americans. These unprecedented events brought together genomes that had evolved independently on different continents for tens of thousands of years and presented new environmental challenges for the indigenous and migrant populations, as well as their offspring. These circumstances provided novel opportunities for natural selection to occur that could be reflected in deviations at specific locations from the genome-wide ancestry distribution. Here we present an analysis examining European, Native American and African ancestry based on 284 microsatellite markers in a study of Mexican Americans from the Family Blood Pressure Program. We identified two genomic regions where there was a significant decrement in African ancestry (at 2p25.1, p < 10(-8) and 9p24.1, p < 2 x 10(-5)) and one region with a significant increase in European ancestry (at 1p33, p < 2 x 10(-5)). These locations may harbor genes that have been subjected to natural selection after the ancestral mixing giving rise to Mexicans.

Authors: Basu A; Tang H; Zhu X; Gu CC; Hanis C; Boerwinkle E; Risch N

Hum Genet. 2008 Oct;124(3):207-14. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

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