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Concept: Mestizo


Several studies have identified nearly 40 different type 2 diabetes susceptibility loci, mainly in European populations, but few of them have been evaluated in the Mexican population. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which 24 common genetic variants previously associated with type 2 diabetes are associated in Mexican Mestizos. Twenty-four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in or near genes (KCNJ11, PPARG, TCF7L2, SLC30A8, HHEX, CDKN2A/2B, CDKAL1, IGF2BP2, ARHGEF11, JAZF1, CDC123/CAMK1D, FTO, TSPAN8/LGR5, KCNQ1, THADA, ADAMTS9, NOTCH2, NXPH1, RORA, UBQLNL, and RALGPS2) were genotyped in Mexican Mestizos. A case-control association study comprising 1,027 type 2 diabetic individuals and 990 control individuals was conducted. To account for population stratification, a panel of 104 ancestry-informative markers was analyzed. Association to type 2 diabetes was found for rs13266634 (SLC30A8), rs7923837 (HHEX), rs10811661 (CDKN2A/2B), rs4402960 (IGF2BP2), rs12779790 (CDC123/CAMK1D), and rs2237892 (KCNQ1). In addition, rs7754840 (CDKAL1) was associated in the nonobese type 2 diabetes subgroup, and for rs7903146 (TCF7L2), association was observed for early-onset type 2 diabetes. Lack of association for the rest of the variants may have resulted from insufficient power to detect smaller allele effects.

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Single-nucleotide polymorphism, Gene, Bioinformatics, Population genetics, Mestizo, DNA


Y chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs) are indispensable markers for haplogroup determination. Since Y chromosome haplogroups show a high specific geographical distribution, they play a major role in population genetics but can also benefit forensic investigations. Although haplogroup prediction methods based on Y chromosome short tandem repeats (Y-STRs) exist and are frequently used, precaution is required in this regard. In this study we determine the Y chromosome haplogroups of a Nicaraguan population using several Y-SNP multiplex reactions. Y chromosome haplogroups have been predicted before, but our results show that a confirmation with Y-SNP typings is necessary. These results have revealed a 4.8% of error in haplogroup prediction based on Y-STR haplotypes using Athey’s Haplogroup Predictor. The Nicaraguan Mestizo population displays a majority of Eurasian lineages, mainly represented by haplogroup R-M207 (46.7%). Other Eurasian lineages have been observed, especially J-P209 (13.3%), followed by I-M170 (3.6%) and G-M201 (1.8%). Haplogroup E-P170 was also observed in 15.2% of the sample, particularly subhaplogroup E1b1b1-M35. Finally, the Native American haplogroup Q-M242 was found in 15.2% of the sample, with Q1a3a-M3 being the most frequent.

Concepts: Y chromosome, Mestizo, Nicaragua, Population genetics, Haplogroup, Genealogical DNA test, DNA, Genetic genealogy


This paper presents the first ethnobotanical survey conducted among the Achuar (Jivaro), indigenous people living in Amazonian Ecuador and Peru. The aims of this study are: (a) to present and discuss Achuar medicinal plant knowledge in the context of the epidemiology of this population (b) to compare the use of Achuar medicinal plants with the uses reported among the Shuar Jivaro and other Amazonian peoples.

Concepts: Colombia, Quechua, Herbalism, Mestizo, Ecuador, Indigenous peoples, South America, Peru


At least twenty percent of Colombians identify as having African ancestry, yielding the second largest population of Afro-descendants in Latin America. To date, there have been relatively few studies focused on the genetic ancestry of Afro-Latino populations. We report a comparative analysis of the genetic ancestry of Chocó, a state located on Colombia’s Pacific coast with a population that is >80% Afro-Colombian. We compared genome-wide patterns of genetic ancestry and admixture for Chocó to six other admixed American populations, with an emphasis on a Mestizo population from the nearby Colombian city of Medellín. One hundred sample donors from Chocó were genotyped across 610,545 genomic sites and compared to 94 publicly available whole genome sequences from Medellín. At the continental level, Chocó shows mostly African genetic ancestry (76%) with a nearly even split between European (13%) and Native American (11%) fractions, whereas Medellín has primarily European ancestry (75%), followed by Native American (18%) and African (7%). Sample donors from Chocó self-identify as having more African ancestry, and conversely less European and Native American ancestry, than can be genetically inferred, as opposed to what we previously found for Medellín, where individuals tend to over-estimate levels of European ancestry. We developed a novel approach for subcontinental ancestry assignment, which allowed us to characterize subcontinental source populations for each of the three distinct continental ancestry fractions separately. Despite the clear differences between Chocó and Medellín at the level of continental ancestry, the two populations show overall patterns of subcontinental ancestry that are highly similar. Their African subcontinental ancestries are only slightly different, with Chocó showing more exclusive shared ancestry with the modern Yoruba (Nigerian) population and Medellín having relatively more shared ancestry with West African populations in Sierra Leone and Gambia. Both populations show very similar Spanish ancestry within Europe and virtually identical patterns of Native American ancestry, with main contributions from the Embera and Waunana tribes. When the three subcontinental ancestry components are considered jointly, the populations of Chocó and Medellín are shown to be most closely related, to the exclusion of the other admixed American populations that we analyzed. We consider the implications of the existence of shared subcontinental ancestries for Colombian populations that appear, at first glance, to be clearly distinct with respect to competing notions of national identity that emphasize ethnic mixing (mestizaje) versus group-specific identities (multiculturalism).

Concepts: Nicaragua, European American, English American, Mestizo, Native Americans in the United States, Sierra Leone, United States, Colombia


Mexicans are a recent admixture of Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans. We performed local ancestry analysis of Mexican samples from two genome-wide association studies obtained from dbGaP, and discovered that at the MHC region Mexicans have excessive African ancestral alleles compared to the rest of the genome, which is the hallmark of recent selection for admixed samples. The estimated selection coefficients are 0.05 and 0.07 for two datasets, which put our finding among the strongest known selections observed in humans, namely, lactase selection in northern Europeans and sickle-cell trait in Africans. Using inaccurate Amerindian training samples was a major concern for the credibility of previously reported selection signals in Latinos. Taking advantage of the flexibility of our statistical model, we devised a model fitting technique that can learn Amerindian ancestral haplotype from the admixed samples, which allows us to infer local ancestries for Mexicans using only European and African training samples. The strong selection signal at the MHC remains without Amerindian training samples. Finally, we note that medical history studies suggest such a strong selection at MHC is plausible in Mexicans.

Concepts: Africa, Native Americans in the United States, Mestizo, North America, Panama, Mexican American, Caribbean, United States


Associations between HLA class I alleles and HIV progression in populations exhibiting Amerindian and Caucasian genetic admixture remain understudied. Using univariable and multivariable analyses we evaluated HLA associations with five HIV clinical parameters in 3,213 HIV clade B-infected, ART-naïve individuals from Mexico and Central America (MEX/CAM cohort). A Canadian cohort (HOMER, n = 1622) was used for comparison. As expected, HLA allele frequencies in MEX/CAM and HOMER differed markedly. In MEX/CAM, 13 HLA-A, 24 HLA-B, and 14 HLA-C alleles were significantly associated with at least one clinical parameter. These included previously described protective (e.g. B*27:05, B*57:01/02/03 and B*58:01) and risk (e.g. B*35:02) alleles, as well as novel ones (e.g. A*03:01, B*15:39 and B*39:02 identified as protective, and A*68:03/05, B*15:30, B*35:12/14, B*39:01/06, B*39:05~C*07:02, and B*40:01~C*03:04 identified as risk). Interestingly, both protective (e.g. B*39:02) and risk (e.g. B*39:01/05/06) subtypes were identified within the common and genetically diverse HLA-B*39 allele group, characteristic to Amerindian populations. While HLA-HIV associations identified in MEX and CAM separately were similar overall (Spearman’s rho = 0.33, p = 0.03), region-specific associations were also noted. The identification of both canonical and novel HLA/HIV associations provides a first step towards improved understanding of HIV immune control among unique and understudied Mestizo populations.

Concepts: Nicaragua, Genotype, Allele, Mestizo, Evolution, Gene, Allele frequency, Genetics


Allele distribution and forensic parameters were estimated for 15 STR loci (AmpFlSTR Identifiler kit) in 251 Mexican-Mestizos from the state of Guerrero (South, Mexico). Genotype distribution was in agreement with Hardy-Weinberg expectations for all 15 STRs. Similarly, linkage disequilibrium test demonstrated no association between pair of loci. The power of exclusion and power of discrimination values were 99.999634444% and >99.99999999%, respectively. Genetic relationship analysis regarding Mestizo populations from the main geographic regions of Mexico suggests that the Center and the present South regions conform one population cluster, separated from the Southeast and Northwest regions.

Concepts: Guerrero, Linkage disequilibrium, Genetics, Puebla, Pacific Ocean, Mestizo, Gene, Biology


We analyzed Mestizo (admixed) population samples from different geographic regions of Mexico (n = 1283) with 20 autosomal STRs (PowerPlex® 21, Promega Corp.). Allele frequencies and forensic parameters from the Northwest, Northeast, West, Center, and Southeast regions are reported, as well as from the pooled Mexican population sample. The combined PD and PE for this 20 STR system were > 0.9999999999 and > 0.99999996593% in all five population samples, respectively. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of these Mexican population samples, plus Monterrey (Northeast) and Mexico (Center) Cities, showed low but significant differences among Mexican-Mestizos from the seven populations (Fst = 0.20%; p = 0.0000). Structure analysis showed the highest proportion of Native American ancestry in Mexico City, Center, and Southeast regions, respectively, which was in agreement with the estimated genetic distances represented in a MDS plot and a NJ tree. The best fit of population clusters (K = 4) obtained with the Structure software indicates that Mexican-Mestizos are mainly composed by European, African, and two Native American ancestries. The European and Native American ancestries displayed a contrary gradient, increasing toward the North-West and South-Southeast, respectively. These 20 autosomal STR loci improved the admixture estimation regarding previous studies with the 13 CODIS-STRs, as supported by the higher similarity with previous estimates based on genome-wide SNP. In brief, this study validates the confident use of the PowerPlex® 21 system for human identification purposes in Mestizo populations throughout the Mexican territory.

Concepts: Mestizo, Hernán Cortés, English American, European American, Native Americans in the United States, Mexico City, Mexico, United States


We report here the near-complete genome sequences of 13 norovirus strains detected in stool samples from patients with acute gastroenteritis from Bangladesh, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, and the United States that are classified into one existing (genotype II.22 [GII.22]), 3 novel (GII.23, GII.24 and GII.25), and 3 tentative novel (GII.NA1, GII.NA2, and GII.NA3) genotypes.

Concepts: Mestizo, Norovirus, Gastroenteritis, Countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, United States, Pacific Ocean, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Spanish language


HLA-G and HLA-A frequencies have been analysed in Amerindians from Ecuador. HLA-G allele frequencies are found to be closer to those of other Amerindians (Mayas from Guatemala and Uros from Peru) and closer to European ones than to Far East Asians groups, particularly, regarding to HLA-G∗ 01:04 allele. HLA-G/-A haplotypes have been calculated for the first time in Amerindians. It is remarkable that HLA-G∗01:05N “null” allele is found in a very low frequency (like in Amerindian Mayas and Uros) and is also found in haplotypes belonging to the HLA-A19 group of alleles (HLA-A∗30, -A∗31,-A∗33). It was previously postulated that HLA-G∗01:05N appeared in HLA-A∗30/-B∗13 haplotypes in Middle East Mediterraneans. It may be hypothesized that in Evolution, HLA-G∗01:05N existed primarily in one of the HLA extant or extinct -A19 haplotype, whether this haplotype was placed in Middle East or other World areas, including America. However, the highest present day HLA-G∗01:05N frequencies are found in Middle East Mediterraneans.

Concepts: Mestizo, Guatemala, Middle East, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Genealogical DNA test, Evolution, Genetic genealogy, Asia