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When migrating, people carry their cultural and genetic history, changing both the transmitting and the receiving populations. This phenomenon changes the structure of the population of a country. The question is how to analyze the impact on the border region. A demographic and geopolitical analysis of borders requires an interdisciplinary approach. An isonymic analysis can be a useful tool. Surnames are part of cultural history, sociocultural features transmitted from ancestors to their descendants through a vertical mechanism similar to that of genetic inheritance. The analysis of surname distribution can give quantitative information about the genetic structure of populations. The isonymic relations between border communities in southern Bolivia and northern Argentina were analyzed from electoral registers for 89 sections included in four major administrative divisions, two from each country, that include the international frontier. The Euclidean and geographic distance matrices where estimated for all possible pairwise comparisons between sections. The average isonymic distance was lower between Argentine than between Bolivian populations. Argentine sections formed three clusters, of which only one included a Bolivian section. The remaining clusters were exclusively formed by sections from Bolivia. The isonymic distance was greater along the border. Regardless of the intense human mobility in the past as in the present, and the presence of three major transborder conurbations, the Bolivian-Argentine international boundary functions as a geographical and administrative barrier that differentially affects the distribution and frequency of surnames. The observed pattern could possibly be a continuity of pre-Columbian regional organization.
In a study of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian (B&H) population, Y-chromosome marker frequencies for 100 individuals, generated using the PowerPlex Y23 kit, were used to perform Y-chromosome haplogroup assignment via Whit Athey's Haplogroup Predictor. This algorithm determines Y-chromosome haplogroups from Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) data using a Bayesian probability-based approach. The most frequent haplogroup appeared to be I2a, with a prevalence of 49%, followed by R1a and E1b1b, each accounting for 17% of all haplogroups within the population. Remaining haplogroups were J2a (5%), I1 (4%), R1b (4%), J2b (2%), G2a (1%), and N (1%). These results confirm previously published preliminary B&H population data published over 10 years ago, especially the prediction about the B&H population being a part of the Western Balkan area, which served as the Last Glacial Maximum refuge for the Paleolithic human European population. Furthermore, the results corroborate the hypothesis that this area was a significant stopping point on the “Middle East—Europe highway” during the Neolithic farmer migrations. Finally, since these results are almost completely in accordance with previously published data on B&H and neighboring populations generated by Y-chromosome single nucleotide polymorphism analysis, it can be concluded that in silico analysis of Y-STRs is a reliable method for approximation of the Y-chromosome haplogroup diversity of an examined population.
This study explores potential signals of microdifferentiation in the gene pool of three high-altitude populations from Jujuy province in northwest Argentina using highly polymorphic markers. These human communities are characterized by extreme living conditions and very low population densities owing to considerable height above sea level and steep orography. A set of autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) located at chromosome 6 (6p21.3) was typed in samples from Quebrada Baja (∼2,500 m), Quebrada Alta (∼3,300 m), and Puna (> 3,500 m). Genetic diversity was estimated through the observed and expected heterozygosities and the haplotype diversity. Analyses of the molecular variance (AMOVAs) and population differentiation tests based on allele and haplotype frequencies were performed to assess genetic heterogeneity among subgroups. No deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was detected in any subpopulation, yet significant departures were detected in the analysis considering the whole area (D6S2792 and D6S105 loci). Overall, genetic diversity showed a decreasing trend as the altitude increased. Thus, allele and haplotype frequencies showed the most significant differences between Puna and Quebrada Baja, the populations sited at the edges of the altitude range. The trend toward reduction of heterozygosity with altitude is compatible with historical patterns of colonization, interregional migration trends, population density, and genetic admixture. The main consequence of the complex mountainous landscape of Jujuy would be an imbalance in the interplay of gene flow and genetic drift, favoring the latter. The combined effect of restricted gene flow and intense genetic drift would have promoted local genetic differentiation between the Jujuy highland subpopulations, leading to spatial patterning of the allele frequencies not entirely attributable to geographic distance. Our findings corroborate the effectiveness of STRs to identify microevolutionary changes.
Geneticists have argued that the linear decay in within-population genetic diversity with increasing geographic distance from East Africa is best explained by a phylogenetic process of repeated founder effects, growth, and isolation. However, this serial founder effect (SFE) process has not yet been adequately vetted against other evolutionary processes that may also affect geospatial patterns of diversity. Additionally, studies of the SFE process have been largely based on a limited 52-population sample. Here, we assess the effects of founder effect, admixture, and localized gene flow processes on patterns of global and regional diversity using a published data set of 645 autosomal microsatellite genotypes from 5,415 individuals in 248 widespread populations. We used a formal tree-fitting approach to explore the role of founder effects. The approach involved fitting global and regional population trees to extant patterns of gene diversity and then systematically examining the deviations in fit. We also informally tested the SFE process using linear models of gene diversity versus waypoint geographic distances from Africa. We tested the role of localized gene flow using partial Mantel correlograms of gene diversity versus geographic distance controlling for the confounding effects of treelike genetic structure. We corroborate previous findings that global patterns of diversity, both within and between populations, are the product of an out-of-Africa SFE process. Within regions, however, diversity within populations is uncorrelated with geographic distance from Africa. Here, patterns of diversity have been largely shaped by recent interregional admixture and secondary range expansions. Our detailed analyses of the pattern of diversity within and between populations reveal that the signatures of different evolutionary processes dominate at different geographic scales. These findings have important implications for recent publications on the biology of race.
We present the most comprehensive genetic characterization to date of five Fijian island populations: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Kadavu, the Lau Islands, and Rotuma, including nonrecombinant Y (NRY) chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes and haplogroups. As a whole, Fijians are genetically intermediate between Melanesians and Polynesians, but the individual Fijian island populations exhibit significant genetic structure reflecting different settlement experiences in which the Rotumans and the Lau Islanders were more influenced by Polynesians, and the other Fijian island populations were more influenced by Melanesians. In particular, Rotuman and Lau Islander NRY chromosomal and mtDNA haplogroup frequencies and Rotuman mtDNA hypervariable segment 1 region haplotypes more closely resemble those of Polynesians, while genetic markers of the other populations more closely resemble those of the Near Oceanic Melanesians. Our findings provide genetic evidence supportive of modifying regional boundaries relative to Fiji, as has been suggested by others based on a variety of nongenetic evidence. Specifically, for the traditional Melanesia/Polynesia/Micronesia scheme, our findings support moving the Melanesia-Polynesia boundary to include Rotuma and the Lau Islands in Polynesia. For the newer Near/Remote Oceania scheme, our findings support keeping Rotuma and the Lau Islands in Remote Oceania and locating the other Fijian island populations in an intermediate or “Central Oceania” region to better reflect the great diversity of Oceania.