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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2010 May;142(1):49-66. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21194.

The genetic structure of populations from Haiti and Jamaica reflect divergent demographic histories.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA.


The West Indies represent an amalgamation of African, European and in some cases, East Asian sources, but the contributions from each ethnic group remain relatively unexplored from a genetic perspective. In the present study, we report, for the first time, allelic frequency data across the complete set of 15 autosomal STR loci for general collections from Haiti and Jamaica, which were subsequently used to examine the genetic diversity present in each island population. Our results indicate that although both Haiti and Jamaica display genetic affinities with the continental African collections, a stronger African signal is detected in Haiti than in Jamaica. Although only minimal contributions from non-African sources were observed in Haiti, Jamaica displays genetic input from both European and East Asian sources, an admixture profile similar to other New World collections of African descent analyzed in this report. The divergent genetic signatures present in these populations allude to the different migratory events of Africans, Europeans, and East Asians into the New World.

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