Thursday, February 14, 2019

Caribbean Population Genetics

None of the conclusions in an analysis of the modern Caribbean population genetics are a great surprise (which is to be expected for the legacy of historically attested processes). But, the details are interesting. The conclusion reached about the localized origins of indigenous American genetic ancestry in modern Caribbean populations confirms prior studies assessing these pre-Columbian processes as well.
[T]he most likely source of the indigenous ancestry in Caribbean islanders is a Native South American component shared among inland Amazonian tribes, Central America, and the Yucatan peninsula, suggesting extensive gene flow across the Caribbean in pre-Columbian times. 
We find evidence of two pulses of African migration. The first pulse—which today is reflected by shorter, older ancestry tracts—consists of a genetic component more similar to coastal West African regions involved in early stages of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The second pulse—reflected by longer, younger tracts—is more similar to present-day West-Central African populations, supporting historical records of later transatlantic deportation. . . . 
[W]e also identify a Latino-specific European component that has significantly diverged from its parental Iberian source populations, presumably as a result of small European founder population size. 
From the abstract of this new PLOS paper.

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