Leonor Gusmão

University of Porto, Oporto, Porto, Portugal

Are you Leonor Gusmão?

Claim your profile

Publications (304)611.03 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Great Lakes lie within a region of East Africa with very high human genetic diversity, home of many ethno-linguistic groups usually assumed to be the product of a small number of major dispersals. However, our knowledge of these dispersals relies primarily on the inferences of historical, linguistics and oral traditions, with attempts to match up the archaeological evidence where possible. This is an obvious area to which archaeogenetics can contribute, yet Uganda, at the heart of these developments, has not been studied for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation. Here, we compare mtDNA lineages at this putative genetic crossroads across 409 representatives of the major language groups: Bantu speakers and Eastern and Western Nilotic speakers. We show that Uganda harbours one of the highest mtDNA diversities within and between linguistic groups, with the various groups significantly differentiated from each other. Despite an inferred linguistic origin in South Sudan, the data from the two Nilotic-speaking groups point to a much more complex history, involving not only possible dispersals from Sudan and the Horn but also large-scale assimilation of autochthonous lineages within East Africa and even Uganda itself. The Eastern Nilotic group also carries signals characteristic of West-Central Africa, primarily due to Bantu influence, whereas a much stronger signal in the Western Nilotic group suggests direct West-Central African ancestry. Bantu speakers share lineages with both Nilotic groups, and also harbour East African lineages not found in Western Nilotic speakers, likely due to assimilating indigenous populations since arriving in the region ~3000 years ago.
    Human Genetics 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00439-015-1583-0 · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Y chromosome markers have been widely studied due to their various applications in the fields of forensic and evolutionary genetics. In this study, 35 Y-SNPs and 17 Y-STRs were genotyped in 253 males from the State of Espirito Santo, Brazil. A total of 18 haplogroups and 243 haplotypes were detected; the haplogroup and haplotype diversities were 0.7794 and 0.9997, respectively. Genetic distance analysis using the Y-STR data showed no statistically significant differences between Espirito Santo and other admixed populations from Brazil. The classification of paternal lineages based on haplogroups showed a predominant European contribution (85.88 %), followed by African (11.37 %) and Amerindian (2.75 %) contributions.
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 06/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00414-015-1214-2 · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background One of the most important dietary shifts underwent by human populations began to occur in the Neolithic, during which new modes of subsistence emerged and new nutrients were introduced in diets. This change might have worked as a selective pressure over the metabolic pathways involved in the breakdown of substances extracted from food. Here we applied a candidate gene approach to investigate whether in populations with different modes of subsistence, diet-related genetic adaptations could be identified in the genes AGXT, PLRP2, MTRR, NAT2 and CYP3A5. Results At CYP3A5, strong signatures of positive selection were detected, though not connected to any dietary variable, but instead to an environmental factor associated with the Tropic of Cancer. Suggestive signals of adaptions that could indeed be connected with differences in dietary habits of populations were only found for PLRP2 and NAT2. Contrarily, the demographic history of human populations seemed enough to explain patterns of diversity at AGXT and MTRR, once both conformed the evolutionary expectations under selective neutrality. Conclusions Accumulated evidence indicates that CYP3A5 has been under adaptive evolution during the history of human populations. PLRP2 and NAT2 also appear to have been modelled by some selective constrains, although clear support for that did not resist to a genome wide perspective. It is still necessary to clarify which were the biological mechanisms and the environmental factors involved as well as their interactions, to understand the nature and strength of the selective pressures that contributed to shape current patterns of genetic diversity at those loci. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0212-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    BMC Genetics 05/2015; 16(1). DOI:10.1186/s12863-015-0212-1 · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insertion-deletions for human identification purposes (HID-Indels) offer advantages to solve particular forensic situations and complex paternity cases. In Mexico, admixed population known as Mestizos is the largest (∼90%), plus a number of Amerindian groups (∼10%), which have not been studied with HID-Indels. For this reason, allele frequencies and forensic parameters for 38 HID-Indels were estimated in 531 unrelated individuals from one Amerindian (Purépecha) and seven Mestizo populations from different regions of the country. Genotype distribution was in agreement with Hardy-Weinberg expectations in almost all loci/populations. The linkage disequilibrium (LD) test did not reveal possible associations between loci pairs in all eight Mexican populations. The combined power of discrimination was high in all populations (PD >99.99999999998%). However, the power of exclusion of the 38 HID-Indel system (PE >99.6863%) was reduced regarding most of autosomal STR kits. The assessment of genetic structure (AMOVA) and relationships between populations (FST) demonstrated significant differences among Mexican populations, mainly of the Purépecha Amerindian group. Among Mexican-Mestizos, three population clusters consistent with geography were defined: (i) North-West region: Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Jalisco; (ii) Central-Southern region: Mexico City, Veracruz and Yucatan; (iii) South region: Chiapas. In brief, this report validates the inclusion of the 38 HID-Indel system in forensic casework and paternity cases in seven Mexican-Mestizo populations from different regions, and in one Mexican Amerindian group. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 05/2015; 17. DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2015.04.011 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genetic diversity of present American populations results from very complex demographic events involving different types and degrees of admixture. Through the analysis of lineage markers such as mtDNA and Y chromosome it is possible to recover the original Native American haplotypes, which remained identical since the admixture events due to the absence of recombination. However, the decrease in the effective population sizes and the consequent genetic drift effects suffered by these populations during the European colonization resulted in the loss or under-representation of a substantial fraction of the Native American lineages. In this study, we aim to clarify how the diversity and distribution of uniparental lineages vary with the different demographic characteristics (size, degree of isolation) and the different levels of admixture of extant Native groups in Colombia. We present new data resulting from the analyses of mtDNA whole control region, Y chromosome SNP haplogroups and STR haplotypes, and autosomal ancestry informative insertion-deletion polymorphisms in Colombian individuals from different ethnic and linguistic groups. The results demonstrate that populations presenting a high proportion of non-Native American ancestry have preserved nevertheless a substantial diversity of Native American lineages, for both mtDNA and Y chromosome. We suggest that, by maintaining the effective population sizes high, admixture allowed for a decrease in the effects of genetic drift due to Native population size reduction and thus resulting in an effective preservation of the Native American non-recombining lineages.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0120155. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0120155 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The first documents mentioning Jewish people in Iberia are from the Visigothic period. It was also in this period that the first documented anti-Judaic persecution took place. Other episodes of persecution would happen again and again during the long troubled history of the Jewish people in Iberia and culminated with the Decrees of Expulsion and the establishment of the Inquisition: some Jews converted to Catholicism while others resisted and were forcedly baptized, becoming the first Iberian Crypto-Jews. In the 18th century the official discrimination and persecution carried out by the Inquisition ended and several Jewish communities emerged in Portugal. From a populational genetics point of view, the worldwide Diaspora of contemporary Jewish communities has been intensely studied. Nevertheless, very little information is available concerning Sephardic and Iberian Crypto-Jewish descendants. Data from the Iberian Peninsula, the original geographic source of Sephardic Jews, is limited to two populations in Portugal, Belmonte, and Bragança district, and the Chueta community from Mallorca. Belmonte was the first Jewish community studied for uniparental markers. The construction of a reference model for the history of the Portuguese Jewish communities, in which the genetic and classical historical data interplay dynamically, is still ongoing. Recently an enlarged sample covering a wide region in the Northeast Portugal was undertaken, allowing the genetic profiling of male and female lineages. A Jewish specific shared female lineage (HV0b) was detected between the community of Belmonte and Bragança. In contrast to what was previously described as a hallmark of the Portuguese Jews, an unexpectedly high polymorphism of lineages was found in Bragança, showing a surprising resistance to the erosion of genetic diversity typical of small-sized isolate populations, as well as signs of admixture with the Portuguese host population.
    Frontiers in Genetics 01/2015; 6:12. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2015.00012
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ancestry informative markers (AIMs) can be useful to infer ancestry proportions of the donors of forensic evidence. The probability of success typing degraded samples, such as human skeletal remains, is strongly influenced by the DNA fragment lengths that can be amplified and the presence of PCR inhibitors. Several AIM panels are available amongst the many forensic marker sets developed for genotyping degraded DNA. Using a 46 AIM Insertion Deletion (Indel) multiplex, we analyzed human skeletal remains of post mortem time ranging from 35 to 60 years from four different continents (Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America, East Asia and Europe) to ascertain the genetic ancestry components. Samples belonging to non-admixed individuals could be assigned to their corresponding continental group. For the remaining samples with admixed ancestry, it was possible to estimate the proportion of co-ancestry components from the four reference population groups. The 46 AIM Indel set was informative enough to efficiently estimate the proportion of ancestry even in samples yielding partial profiles, a frequent occurrence when analyzing inhibited and/or degraded DNA extracts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 12/2014; 16C:58-63. DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.11.025 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genotyping of polymorphic short tandem repeats (STRs) loci is widely used in forensic DNA analysis. STR loci eventually present tri-allelic pattern as a genotyping irregularity and, in that situation, the doubt about the tri-allele locus frequency calculation can reduce the analysis strength. In the TPOX human STR locus, tri-allelic genotypes have been reported with a widely varied frequency among human populations. We investigate whether there is a single extra allele (the third allele) in the TPOX tri-allelic pattern, what it is, and where it is, aiming to understand its genomic anatomy and to propose the knowledge of this TPOX extra allele from genetic profile, thus preserving the two standard TPOX alleles in forensic analyses. We looked for TPOX tri-allelic subjects in 75,113 Brazilian families. Considering only the parental generation (mother+father) we had 150,226 unrelated subjects evaluated. From this total, we found 88 unrelated subjects with tri-allelic pattern in the TPOX locus (0.06%; 88/150,226). Seventy three of these 88 subjects (73/88; 83%) had the Clayton's original Type 2 tri-allelic pattern (three peaks of even intensity). The remaining 17% (15/88) show a new Type 2 derived category with heterozygote peak imbalance (one double dose peak plus one regular sized peak). In this paper we present detailed data from 66 trios (mother+father+child) with true biological relationships. In 39 of these families (39/66; 59%) the extra TPOX allele was transmitted either from the mother or from the father to the child. Evidences indicated the allele 10 as the extra TPOX allele, and it is on the X chromosome. The present data, which support the previous Lane hypothesis, improve the knowledge about tri-allelic pattern of TPOX CODIS' locus allowing the use of TPOX profile in forensic analyses even when with tri-allelic pattern. This evaluation is now available for different forensic applications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • European journal of human genetics: EJHG 11/2014; DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2014.232 · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years a large amount of mitochondrial population data for forensic purposes has been produced. Current efforts are focused at increasing the number of studied populations while generating updated genetic information of forensic quality. However, complete mitochondrial control region sequences are still scarce for most populations and even more so for complete mitochondrial genomes. In the case of Portugal, previous population genetics studies have already revealed the general portrait of HVS-I and HVS-II mitochondrial diversity, becoming now important to update and expand the mitochondrial region analysed. Accordingly, a total of 292 complete control region sequences from continental Portugal were obtained, under a stringent experimental design to ensure the quality of data through double sequencing of each target region. Furthermore, H-specific coding region SNPs were examined to detail haplogroup classification and complete mitogenomes were obtained for all sequences belonging to haplogroups U4 and U5. In general, a typical Western European haplogroup composition was found in mainland Portugal, associated to high level of mitochondrial genetic diversity. Within the country, no signs of substructure were detected. The typing of extra coding region SNPs has provided the refinement or confirmation of the previous classification obtained with EMMA tool in 96% of the cases. Finally, it was also possible to enlarge haplogroup U phylogeny with 28 new U4 and U5 mitogenomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 10/2014; 15. DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.10.004 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Brazil has a large territory divided in five geographical regions harboring highly diverse populations that resulted from different degrees and modes of admixture between Native Americans, Europeans and Africans. In this study, a sample of 605 unrelated males was genotyped for 17 Y-STRs and 46 Y-SNPs aiming a deep characterization of the male gene pool of Rio de Janeiro and its comparison with other Brazilian populations. High values of Y-STR haplotype diversity (0.9999 ± 0.0001) and Y-SNP haplogroup diversity (0.7589 ± 0.0171) were observed. Population comparisons at both haplotype and haplogroup levels showed significant differences between Brazilian South Eastern and Northern populations that can be explained by differences in the proportion of African and Native American Y chromosomes. Statistical significant differences between admixed urban samples from the five regions of Brazil were not previously detected at haplotype level based on smaller size samples from South East, which emphasizes the importance of sample size to detected population stratification for an accurate interpretation of profile matches in kinship and forensic casework. Although not having an intra-population discrimination power as high as the Y-STRs, the Y-SNPs are more powerful to disclose differences in admixed populations. In this study, the combined analysis of these two types of markers proved to be a good strategy to predict population sub-structure, which should be taken into account when delineating forensic database strategies for Y chromosome haplotypes.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 09/2014; 13. DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.08.017 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The majority of genetic studies on Jewish populations have been focused on Ashkenazim, and genetic data from the Sephardic original source, the Iberian Peninsula, are particularly scarce. Regarding the mitochondrial genome, the available information is limited to a single Portuguese village, Belmonte, where just two different lineages (a single one corresponding to 93.3%) were found in 30 individuals. Aiming at disclosing the ancestral maternal background of the Portuguese Jewry, we enlarged the sampling to other crypto-Jewish descendants in the Bragança district (NE Portugal). Fifty-seven complete mtDNA genomes were newly sequenced and - in contrast with Belmonte - a high level of diversity was found, with five haplogroups (HV0b, N1, T2b11, T2e and U2e) being putatively identified as Sephardic founding lineages. Therefore - in sharp contrast with Belmonte - these communities have managed to escape the expected inbreeding effects caused by centuries of religious repression and have kept a significant proportion of the Sephardic founder gene pool. This deeper analysis of the surviving Sephardic maternal lineages allowed a much more comprehensive and detailed perspective on the origins and survival of the Sephardic genetic heritage. In line with previously published results on Sephardic paternal lineages, our findings also show a surprising resistance to the erosion of genetic diversity in the maternal lineages.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 30 July 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.140.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 07/2014; 23(5). DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2014.140 · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The DNA Commission of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG) regularly publishes guidelines and recommendations concerning the application of DNA polymorphisms to the question of human identification. Previous recommendations published in 2000 addressed the analysis and interpretation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in forensic casework. While the foundations set forth in the earlier recommendations still apply, new approaches to the quality control, alignment and nomenclature of mitochondrial sequences, as well as the establishment of mtDNA reference population databases, have been developed. Here, we describe these developments and discuss their application to both mtDNA casework and mtDNA reference population databasing applications. While the generation of mtDNA for forensic casework has always been guided by specific standards, it is now well-established that data of the same quality are required for the mtDNA reference population data used to assess the statistical weight of the evidence. As a result, we introduce guidelines regarding sequence generation, as well as quality control measures based on the known worldwide mtDNA phylogeny, that can be applied to ensure the highest quality population data possible. For both casework and reference population databasing applications, the alignment and nomenclature of haplotypes is revised here and the phylogenetic alignment proffered as acceptable standard. In addition, the interpretation of heteroplasmy in the forensic context is updated, and the utility of alignment-free database searches for unbiased probability estimates is highlighted. Finally, we discuss statistical issues and define minimal standards for mtDNA database searches.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 07/2014; 13C:134-142. DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.07.010 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For the correct evaluation of the weight of genetic evidence in a forensic context, databases must reflect the structure of the population, with all possible groups being represented. Countries with a recent history of admixture between strongly differentiated populations are usually highly heterogeneous and sub-structured. Bolivia is one of these countries, with a high diversity of ethnic groups and different levels of admixture (among Native Americans, Europeans and Africans) across the territory. For a better characterization of the male lineages in Bolivia, 17 Y-STR and 42 Y-SNP loci were genotyped in samples from La Paz and Chuquisaca. Only European and Native American Y-haplogroups were detected, and no sub-Saharan African chromosomes were found. Significant differences were observed between the two samples, with a higher frequency of European lineages in Chuquisaca than in La Paz. A sample belonging to haplogroup Q1a3a1a1-M19 was detected in La Paz, in a haplotype background different from those previously found in Argentina. This result supports an old M19 North-south dispersion in South America, possibly via two routes. When comparing the ancestry of each individual assessed through his Y chromosome with the one estimated using autosomal AIMs, (a) increased European ancestry in individuals with European Y chromosomes and (b) higher Native American ancestry in the carriers of Native American Y-haplogroups were observed, revealing an association between autosomal and Y-chromosomal markers. The results of this study demonstrate that a sub-structure does exist in Bolivia at both inter- and intrapopulation levels, a fact which must be taken into account in the evaluation of forensic genetic evidence.
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 05/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00414-014-1025-x · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Forensic Science International: Genetics 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.fsigen.2014.04.009 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The peopling of Greenland has a complex history shaped by population migrations, isolation and genetic drift. The Greenlanders present a genetic heritage with components of European and Inuit groups; previous studies using uniparentally inherited markers in Greenlanders have reported evidence of a sex-biased, admixed genetic background. This work further explores the genetics of the Greenlanders by analysing autosomal and X-chromosomal data to obtain deeper insights into the factors that shaped the genetic diversity in Greenlanders. Fourteen Greenlandic subsamples from multiple geographical settlements were compared to assess the level of genetic substructure in the Greenlandic population. The results showed low levels of genetic diversity in all sets of the genetic markers studied, together with an increased number of X-chromosomal loci in linkage disequilibrium in relation to the Danish population. In the broader context of worldwide populations, Greenlanders are remarkably different from most populations, but they are genetically closer to some Inuit groups from Alaska. Admixture analyses identified an Inuit component in the Greenlandic population of approximately 80%. The sub-populations of Ammassalik and Nanortalik are the least diverse, presenting the lowest levels of European admixture. Isolation-by-distance analyses showed that only 16% of the genetic substructure of Greenlanders is most likely to be explained by geographic barriers. We suggest that genetic drift and a differentiated settlement history around the island explain most of the genetic substructure of the population in Greenland.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 7 May 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.90.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2014; 23(2). DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2014.90 · 4.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
611.03 Total Impact Points


  • 1997–2015
    • University of Porto
      • • Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology (IPATIMUP)
      • • Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto
      Oporto, Porto, Portugal
  • 2014
    • Rio de Janeiro State University
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2012
    • Federal University of Pará
      • Institute of Biological Sciences (ICB)
      Belém, Estado do Para, Brazil
  • 2008
    • Complutense University of Madrid
      • Department of Toxicology and Health Legislation
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2007
    • Universidad de Cartagena
      • Institute for Immunological Research
      Cartagena, Departamento de Bolivar, Colombia
  • 2005
    • University of Minho
      • Department of Biology
      Braga, Distrito de Braga, Portugal
  • 2001
    • University of Coimbra
      Coímbra, Coimbra, Portugal
  • 1999–2000
    • University of Santiago de Compostela
      • Instituto de Medicina Legal
      Santiago, Galicia, Spain
  • 1995
    • Instituto Superior Manuel Teixeira Gomes
      Vila Nova de Portimão, Faro, Portugal