Gonçalves VF, Carvalho CM, Bortolini MC, Bydlowski SP, Pena SD.
Hum Hered. 2008 Jul 25;65(1):23-32
Background/Aims: Approximately four million Africans were taken as slaves to Brazil, where they interbred extensively with Amerindians and Europeans. We have previously shown that while most White Brazilians carry Y chromosomes of European origin, they display high proportions of African and Amerindian mtDNA lineages, because of sex-biased genetic admixture. Methods: We studied the Y chromosome and mtDNA haplogroup structure of 120 Black males from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Results: Only 48% of the Y chromosomes, but 85% of the mtDNA haplogroups were characteristic of sub-Saharan Africa, confirming our previous observation of sexually biased mating. We mined literature data for mtDNA and Y chromosome haplogroup frequencies for African native populations from regions involved in Atlantic Slave Trade. Principal Components Analysis and Bayesian analysis of population structure revealed no genetic differentiation of Y chromosome marker frequencies between the African regions. However, mtDNA examination unraveled considerable genetic structure, with three clusters at Central-West Africa, West Africa and Southeast Africa. A hypothesis is proposed to explain this structure. Conclusion: Using these mtDNA data we could obtain for the first time an estimate of the relative ancestral contribution of Central-West (0.445), West (0.431) and Southeast Africa (0.123) to African Brazilians from Sao Paulo. These estimates are consistent with historical information.