Microsatellite variation in Central Africa: an analysis of intrapopulational and interpopulational genetic diversity

Vincenzo Lorenzo Pascali, Ilaria Boschi, G Destro Bisol, A Caglià, S Tofanelli, G Paoli, G. Spedini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

30 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

As a part of a research project on molecular variation in Central Africa, we have analyzed 10 microsatellites (CD4, CSFO, D3S1358, D18S51, D21S11, F13A1, FES, TH01, TPOX, and VWA) in the Bamileke and Ewondo from Cameroon and the Sanga and Mbenzele Pygmies from the Central African Republic (a total of 390 chromosomes). A statistically significant trend towards heterozygote deficiency was detected in the Mbenzele Pygmies. This was established through the use of powerful exact tests for the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. A certain degree of isolation and a small effective size may explain this finding. However, the lack of any substantial reduction in allelic diversity in the Mbenzele does not support the possibility that this group has a smaller effective size in evolutionary terms. A possible explanation based on ethnographic studies suggests that the gene flow from non-Pygmies to Pygmies could have been interrupted only in relatively recent times. The analysis of association between genotypes at pairs of independent loci indicates that the level of subheterogeneity is markedly lower in the Bamileke than in other sampled populations. This may be explained by the combined effect of larger population size, more rigid respect of clanic exogamy, and higher matrimonial mobility of the Bamileke. Finally, we have analyzed interpopulational relationships among our sampled populations and other Central African populations. The results are consistent with a previous study of protein loci (Spedini et al. 1999), which suggests the recent history of the Bamileke and Ewondo has led them to aquire a substantial genetic similarity. Furthermore, the Mbenzele Pygmies diverge from Biaka Pygmies, despite their common origin and geographical proximity. This is probably due to the differentiating effect of genetic drift, which is enhanced by the small effective size of Pygmy populations
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)319-337
Numero di pagine19
RivistaAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2000

Keywords

  • Central Africa
  • genetic distances
  • genetic diversity
  • linkage disequilibrium
  • microsatellites

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