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      Color and genomic ancestry in Brazilians

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          Abstract

          This work was undertaken to ascertain to what degree the physical appearance of a Brazilian individual was predictive of genomic African ancestry. Using a panel of 10 population-specific alleles, we assigned to each person an African ancestry index (AAI). The procedure was able to tell apart, with no overlaps, 20 males from northern Portugal from 20 males from São Tomé Island on the west coast of Africa. We also tested 10 Brazilian Amerindians and observed that their AAI values fell in the same range as the Europeans. Finally, we studied two different Brazilian population samples. The first consisted of 173 individuals from a rural Southeastern community, clinically classified according to their Color (white, black, or intermediate) with a multivariate evaluation based on skin pigmentation in the medial part of the arm, hair color and texture, and the shape of the nose and lips. In contrast to the clear-cut results with the African and European samples, our results showed large variances and extensive overlaps among the three Color categories. We next embarked on a study of 200 unrelated Brazilian white males who originated from cosmopolitan centers of the four major geographic regions of the country. The results showed AAI values intermediate between Europeans and Africans, even in southern Brazil, a region predominantly peopled by European immigrants. Our data suggest that in Brazil, at an individual level, color, as determined by physical evaluation, is a poor predictor of genomic African ancestry, estimated by molecular markers.

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          Most cited references 15

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          The ancestry of Brazilian mtDNA lineages.

          We have analyzed 247 Brazilian mtDNAs for hypervariable segment (HVS)-I and selected restriction fragment-length-polymorphism sites, to assess their ancestry in different continents. The total sample showed nearly equal amounts of Native American, African, and European matrilineal genetic contribution but with regional differences within Brazil. The mtDNA pool of present-day Brazilians clearly reflects the imprints of the early Portuguese colonization process (involving directional mating), as well as the recent immigrant waves (from Europe) of the last century. The subset of 99 mtDNAs from the southeastern region encompasses nearly all mtDNA haplogroups observed in the total Brazilian sample; for this regional subset, HVS-II was analyzed, providing, in particular, some novel details of the African mtDNA phylogeny.
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            Human Races: A Genetic and Evolutionary Perspective

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              Racial profiling in medical research.

               Jana Schwartz (2001)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                January 07 2003
                December 30 2002
                January 07 2003
                : 100
                : 1
                : 177-182
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.0126614100
                140919
                12509516
                © 2003
                Product

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