mtDNA variation in East Africa unravels the history of afro-asiatic groups
ABSTRACT East Africa (EA) has witnessed pivotal steps in the history of human evolution. Due to its high environmental and cultural variability, and to the long-term human presence there, the genetic structure of modern EA populations is one of the most complicated puzzles in human diversity worldwide. Similarly, the widespread Afro-Asiatic (AA) linguistic phylum reaches its highest levels of internal differentiation in EA. To disentangle this complex ethno-linguistic pattern, we studied mtDNA variability in 1,671 individuals (452 of which were newly typed) from 30 EA populations and compared our data with those from 40 populations (2970 individuals) from Central and Northern Africa and the Levant, affiliated to the AA phylum. The genetic structure of the studied populations-explored using spatial Principal Component Analysis and Model-based clustering-turned out to be composed of four clusters, each with different geographic distribution and/or linguistic affiliation, and signaling different population events in the history of the region. One cluster is widespread in Ethiopia, where it is associated with different AA-speaking populations, and shows shared ancestry with Semitic-speaking groups from Yemen and Egypt and AA-Chadic-speaking groups from Central Africa. Two clusters included populations from Southern Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Despite high and recent gene-flow (Bantu, Nilo-Saharan pastoralists), one of them is associated with a more ancient AA-Cushitic stratum. Most North-African and Levantine populations (AA-Berber, AA-Semitic) were grouped in a fourth and more differentiated cluster. We therefore conclude that EA genetic variability, although heavily influenced by migration processes, conserves traces of more ancient strata. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article: Bayes in biological anthropology[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this article, we both contend and illustrate that biological anthropologists, particularly in the Americas, often think like Bayesians but act like frequentists when it comes to analyzing a wide variety of data. In other words, while our research goals and perspectives are rooted in probabilistic thinking and rest on prior knowledge, we often proceed to use statistical hypothesis tests and confidence interval methods unrelated (or tenuously related) to the research questions of interest. We advocate for applying Bayesian analyses to a number of different bioanthropological questions, especially since many of the programming and computational challenges to doing so have been overcome in the past two decades. To facilitate such applications, this article explains Bayesian principles and concepts, and provides concrete examples of Bayesian computer simulations and statistics that address questions relevant to biological anthropology, focusing particularly on bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. It also simultaneously reviews the use of Bayesian methods and inference within the discipline to date. This article is intended to act as primer to Bayesian methods and inference in biological anthropology, explaining the relationships of various methods to likelihoods or probabilities and to classical statistical models. Our contention is not that traditional frequentist statistics should be rejected outright, but that there are many situations where biological anthropology is better served by taking a Bayesian approach. To this end it is hoped that the examples provided in this article will assist researchers in choosing from among the broad array of statistical methods currently available. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Physical Anthropology 12/2013; 152. DOI:10.1002/ajpa.22397 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can provide information on maternal genetics. In the present study, a set of 59 SNPs were detected simultaneously using three multiplex allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) and subsequent capillary electrophoresis (CE). Allele-specific primers were designed with different sizes to allow for specifically amplified paired alleles in the same reaction. An allelic ladder based on reference alleles was also created to maintain high-quality analysis standard. Samples from 400 unrelated individuals (200 of Han population and 200 of Uyghur population, China) were successfully analyzed and assigned into 106 relevant haplotypes, resulting in a discrimination power of 98.5%. The haplotype diversity was 0.978 for Han and 0.972 for Uyghur, respectively. Pairwise comparison of haplotype frequency distributions showed significant difference across ethnicities. These results suggest that the 59-SNP PCR system is a reliable, rapid, and economical method for large-scale screening of mtDNA variation, adding a new aspect for forensic individual identification.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reservedElectrophoresis 07/2014; 35(12-13). DOI:10.1002/elps.201400047 · 3.16 Impact Factor