Friday, July 27, 2007

Where did the Africans in Brazil come from?

I assume that in this paper they give some historical context to the bio-geographical origin of the African lineages found today among Black males in Africa.

The Phylogeography of African Brazilians.

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.

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