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Am J Hum Genet. Feb 1994; 54(2): 303–318.
PMCID: PMC1918164

mtDNA and Y-chromosome polymorphisms in four Native American populations from southern Mexico.


mtDNA sequence variation was examined in 60 Native Americans (Mixtecs from the Alta, Mixtecs from the Baja, Valley Zapotecs, and Highland Mixe) from southern Mexico by PCR amplification and high-resolution restriction endonuclease analysis. Four groups of mtDNA haplotypes (haplogroups A, B, C, and D) characterize Amerind populations, but only three (haplogroups A, B, and C) were observed in these Mexican populations. The comparison of their mtDNA variation with that observed in other populations from Mexico and Central America permits a clear distinction among the different Middle American tribes and raises questions about some of their linguistic affiliations. The males of these population samples were also analyzed for Y-chromosome RFLPs with the probes 49a, 49f, and 12f2. This analysis suggests that certain Y-chromosome haplotypes were brought from Asia during the colonization of the Americas, and a differential gene flow was introduced into Native American populations from European males and females.

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