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Ann Hum Genet. 2007 Sep;71(Pt 5):674-88. Epub 2007 May 22.

Deconstructing Jaco: genetic heritage of an Afrikaner.

Author information

  • Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa. jaco.greeff@up.ac.za

Abstract

It is often assumed that Afrikaners stem from a small number of Dutch immigrants. As a result they should be genetically homogeneous, show founder effects and be rather inbred. By disentangling my own South African pedigree, that is on average 12 generations deep, I try to quantify the genetic heritage of an Afrikaner. As much as 6% of my genes have been contributed by slaves from Africa, Madagascar and India, and a woman from China. This figure compares well to other genetic and genealogical estimates. Seventy three percent of my lineages coalesce into common founders, and I am related in excess of 10 times to 20 founder ancestors (30 times to Willem Schalk van der Merwe). Significant founder effects are thus possible. The overrepresentation of certain founder ancestors is in part explained by the fact that they had more children. This is remarkable given that they lived more than 300 years (or 12 generations) ago. DECONSTRUCT, a new program for pedigree analysis, identified 125 common ancestors in my pedigree. However, these common ancestors are so distant from myself, paths of between 16 and 25 steps in length, that my inbreeding coefficient is not unusually high (f approximately 0.0019).

PMID:
17521310
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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