Opportunity for natural selection and gene flow in an isolated Zapotec-speaking community in southern Mexico in the throes of a secular increase in size.
ABSTRACT Our object in this paper is to analyze the opportunity for natural selection and gene flow in an isolated Zapotec-speaking community in the valley of Oaxaca, southern Mexico, that is undergoing a secular increase in body size. Surveys were conducted in the community in 1968, 1978, and 2000, including anthropometric and census data. No secular change was found in the growth status of schoolchildren and adult height between 1968 and 1978; subsequently, major secular gains in height occurred among children and adolescents between 1978 and 2000. The 1978 household data were used to compute gene flow (3.3%) and opportunity for selection intensity (I = 1.312). Migration and other demographic information was obtained from household census data for 1978 and 2000, and mortality information was extracted from community records and archives. These data were used to compute gene flow and opportunity for natural selection. Gene flow increased from 3.3% to 4.7% and intensity of natural selection decreased from 1.312 to 0.272 from 1978 to 2000. Variance in fertility increased slightly over time (12.25 to 13.69). Opportunity for selection was dominant during the prereproductive period in 1978, but approached 0 for the mortality component in 2000, resulting in a marked decrease in the mortality component (Im) of selection (0.626 and 0.019, respectively) and total opportunity for selection (I = 1.312 and 0.272, respectively). Secular increase in height and markedly decreased opportunity for natural selection (1) were associated with better health and nutritional conditions. Genotype-environment interaction and environmental influences are apparently the predominant causes of the secular trend. If natural selection plays a role in causing the secular trend, it is a small one.
Article: Opportunity for natural selection in a Basque population and its secular trend: evolutionary implications of epidemic mortality.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Analysis of the interaction between mortality patterns and opportunity for natural selection could help to elucidate potential evolutionary implications of epidemic mortality. In this paper secular trends are studied in relation to Crow's index (It) and its components of mortality (Im) and fertility (If), using parish records for family reconstitution in a Basque population. A principal components analysis (91% of the variance accounted for) showed marked quantitative and qualitative variations of Im and If depending on the stage of demographic transition of the population analyzed: In pretransitional societies the opportunity for natural selection is determined mainly by differential prereproductive mortality, whereas in posttransitional societies selection resulting from differential fertility plays a key role. The highest values for the mortality component (range 0.81-1.26) and for the relative contribution of Im, to It (range 47.1-57.2%) were observed in periods with a high incidence of infectious diseases and when the most severe mortality crises were detected (1830-1859, 1860-1889, and 1890-1919). A differential incidence of epidemic mortality was also found at prereproductive ages (before 16 years) and at reproductive ages (16-45 years), which provides strong support for the idea of the long-term genetic consequences of mortality crises.Human Biology 07/2004; 76(3):361-81. · 1.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The height that adult humans achieve results from a complex interplay between genetic endowment and environmental exposures during development. We hypothesize that exposure to microbes--both exogenous pathogens and endogenous biota--are critical environmental determinants of the expression of human height in a community. Both experimental studies and historical changes in height in relation to presumed microbial transmission support this hypothesis.Perspectives in biology and medicine 02/2002; 45(4):475-98. · 1.34 Impact Factor
Article: The genetics of human populations.Scientific American 10/1974; 231(3):80-9. · 2.37 Impact Factor