The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Multiple loci provide a more complete picture of Native American evolutionary histories


1Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 3Institute of Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Four First Nation communities in British Columbia volunteered to participate in a study that combines multiple lines of genetic evidence for constructing evolutionary history. Each locus exhibits unique characteristics that provide a specific focus on evolutionary history. Many of these loci have been analyzed in Native American populations, except in the Pacific Northwest. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) provides information on the evolutionary history of females, and Y-chromosomal DNA provides the evolutionary history of males in the Americas. Alleles at the ABCA1 gene exhibit functional phenotypic variation; some alleles are unique to the Americas. Lastly, the D9S1120 short tandem repeat (STR) is a non-coding, neutral locus, and the 9RA is unique to the Americas. We determined the mitochondrial haplogroup by sequencing the control region of the genome. We determined the Y-chromosomal DNA haplogroup by genotyping diagnostic SNPs using ABI Taqman assays and using the AmpFlSTR© Yfiler© PCR Amplification Kit to examine the 17 Y-STR loci. We determined the ABCA1 autosomal allele that is unique to the Americas and analyzed alleles at the D9S1120 STR locus. In general, we found that mitochondrial haplogroups A, B, C, D, X, and H and Y-chromosomal haplogroups Q, C, and R were the most common. The ABCA1 results were the same for all individuals tested, and the 9RA allele was found in each population sampled. Our results provide DNA information on populations in the Pacific Northwest that can be used to infer various aspects of the evolutionary histories of Native Americans.

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