August 24, 2009

Amerindian mtDNA in Argentinean population

Int J Legal Med. 2009 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Amerindian mitochondrial DNA haplogroups predominate in the population of Argentina: towards a first nationwide forensic mitochondrial DNA sequence database.

Bobillo MC, Zimmermann B, Sala A, Huber G, Röck A, Bandelt HJ, Corach D, Parson W.

The study presents South American mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data from selected north (N = 98), central (N = 193) and south (N = 47) Argentinean populations. Sequence analysis of the complete mtDNA control region (CR, 16024-576) resulted in 288 unique haplotypes ignoring C-insertions around positions 16193, 309, and 573; the additional analysis of coding region single nucleotide polymorphisms enabled a fine classification of the described lineages. The Amerindian haplogroups were most frequent in the north and south representing more than 60% of the sequences. A slightly different situation was observed in central Argentina where the Amerindian haplogroups represented less than 50%, and the European contribution was more relevant. Particular clades of the Amerindian subhaplogroups turned out to be nearly region-specific. A minor contribution of African lineages was observed throughout the country. This comprehensive admixture of worldwide mtDNA lineages and the regional specificity of certain clades in the Argentinean population underscore the necessity of carefully selecting regional samples in order to develop a nationwide mtDNA database for forensic and anthropological purposes. The mtDNA sequencing and analysis were performed under EMPOP guidelines in order to attain high quality for the mtDNA database.



Kepler said...

I would have thought South American mtDNA in Argentina would have been a little bit lower. The results are not so different from the few results I have seen from Venezuela.
I wonder
- what proportion was taken from Buenos Aires
- whether there was some filtering of "people whose parents arrived after X" or something like that (a couple of millions have both grandparents born in Europe).
Here an old article about Venezuela's capital:

Other regions have more or less visible components from Africa/first Nations or Europe (Venezuelan Mérida more European, Barlovento much more African, the very South more Indian, Margarita more European, etc)

It would be nice if we started to get some haplogroup distribution map for the Americas with and without newer haplogroups.
Although in many places whole ethnic groups were wiped out or moved away, I suppose we may have some visible patterns in South America with regards to A/B/c/D mtDNA. I read somewhere there was a higher D proportion in the North-East (Caribe areas).

Gioiello said...

These data aren't surprising. We know the data of Brazil, were YDNA is pretty for 80% of European extraction, but mtDNA is equally divided among Europeans, Native Americans and Africans. Perhaps in Argentina, for its history, we have a half European mtDNA, since the migration wasn't of only men, but of families. But who knows for instance Argentinian football players, he knew they have a Native American component even though they have an Italian surname: Passarella, Sivori, Camoranesi for not speaking of Maradona.

Kepler said...

No, not really surprising but I would have expected the native American contribution at national level to be a little bit lower, between 40% and 50%. Of course, the samples are not big, so things could change some.

As it stands, it does not differ that much from Venezuela, where you see more people "with Indian looks" than in Argentina (although many less than in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico or the small central American nations).

Migration in Argentina was a little bit different from Venezuela's: many more European couples arrived already in the XIX century, whereas in Venezuela in the XIX century migration was still mostly a thing for men (that changed in the XX century).
In Venezuela Y "European" haplogroups account for around 90% of the population.

Over 80% of the population in South America has European surnames, in some countries the proportion is much higher. In Venezuela, for instance, almost no one has Indian surnames (which were actually introduced during the European invasion) whereas in Argentina 20% of the population does.
Surnames are a very unreliable marker, specially in South America, as a rich European would have like 1 wife and 4 lovers and the children of the lovers would not get the name of the man but of their mother.

Something that could be interesting is to see distribution of family names in first and second position, as most of us use the standard Spanish combination of surnames.

J said...

Surnames are meaningless in South America as is in the Phillippines, where Spanish authorities maintained a lost of permitted names. Ferdinand Marcos for example was 100% Chinese.

J said...

Argentinians will not like this study.

Kepler said...

Well, not completely meaningless, on the other hand. Such limitations were not given in South America. There were different customs (as I wrote, Argentineans having 20% of Indian surnames)

Latin America did receive a lot of genetic material from Europe, as we said already, specially on the male side and up to half, as we see, on the maternal side (in Venezuela the European mtDNA levels are lower: 60% Indian, 20% European, 20% sub-Saharan).
In the Philippines the situation is quite different.

Gioiello said...

Philippines is a case apart, where 1% of Chinese have the 60% of the wealth (read Amy Chua, World on fire). I don't think Argentinians dislike this study. They are 60% of Italian origin and certainly they aren't racist (certainly not against Native Americans, who are the first inhabitants).

Gioiello said...

Conroy, don't be proud of it! If an Argentinian told you that sentence, he was quoting another.
The great (very great) Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges said he was the unique Argentinian not having Italian blood in his veins, being of Spanish and British ancestry. He could be the author of that maxim.

eurologist said...

as a rich European would have like 1 wife and 4 lovers

...which also explains the high percentage of native MtDNA despite being settled largely by European families.

Kepler said...

What I mean is that I would have expected the Indian contribution in Argentina being lower than 8%-10% that of Venezuela, ceteris paribus (and I don't think immigrants to Argentina were less promiscuous). Well, perhaps the main difference is that Venezuela has a higher sub-Saharan component.
I have no access to the article. Is it possible someone tell me what percentage African haplogroups had?

Still, I do not think some Argentinians would like this, they are more likely to think they are very European.

Anonymous said...

"Argentinians are Italians who speak Spanish and consider themselves British"

This is a mot that is said in the near countries and in different way, because generally the other south Americans don't love the Argentinians, because they thinks Argentinians overrating themself and they think to be better than the others.
I knew the only recognized indios in Argentina live to the south, in Patagonia, but manyof them are immigrated from the near countries as Bolivia and Colombia in more recent years. It would be interesting to know as the study has been conducted on the territory to appraise the degree of hybridization.

argiedude said...

Argentina was always a mixed-race country, like Mexico or Chile. It was only starting in 1880 that a huge mass of south Europeans came in and changed the face of the country. But these people weren't more numerous than the pre-existing population. At the height of it all, maybe close to half of the country was of European ancestry, maybe. Since then, another wave, which was probably even bigger, came in from Chile, Paraguay, and starting in the 70's even from Bolivia and Peru. All mixed-race. Together with the fact that mixed-race have more kids, and that many European Argentines mixed with them, we reach the modern situation, in which Argentina is probably 20% European. Kind of like South Africa, where I think Europeans are 10% or 12%.

pp987 said...

Think it's time for more acurate evaluations, using autosome SNPs to estimate admixture
Then, compare it to the estimated mtDNA hts (and yDNA) based data.

Anonymous said...

I have to think that there's lots of people in Buenos Aires who are of entirely European descent given how recently their ancestors came.

Malvina said...
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