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PLoS One. 2015 Aug 11;10(8):e0134129. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134129. eCollection 2015.

The Genomic Legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the Yungas Valley of Bolivia.

Author information

1
Unidade de Xenética, Instituto de Ciencias Forenses and Departamento de Anatomía Patolóxica e Ciencias Forenses, Facultade de Medicina, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
2
Unidade de Xenética, Instituto de Ciencias Forenses and Departamento de Anatomía Patolóxica e Ciencias Forenses, Facultade de Medicina, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain; Grupo de Investigación en Genética, Vacunas, Infecciones y Pediatría (GENVIP), Hospital Clínico Universitario and Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
3
Grupo de Investigación en Genética, Vacunas, Infecciones y Pediatría (GENVIP), Hospital Clínico Universitario and Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain; Translational Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, Department of pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.

Abstract

During the period of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TAST) some enslaved Africans were forced to move to Upper Peru (nowadays Bolivia). At first they were sent to Potosí, but later to the tropical Yungas valley where the Spanish colonizers established a so-called "hacienda system" that was based on slave labor, including African-descendants. Due to their isolation, very little attention has been paid so far to 'Afro-Bolivian' communities either within the research field of TAST or in genetic population studies. In this study, a total of 105 individuals from the Yungas were sequenced for their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region, and mitogenomes were obtained for a selected subset of these samples. We also genotyped 46 Ancestry Informative Markers (AIM) in order to investigate continental ancestry at the autosomal level. In addition, Y-chromosome STR and SNP data for a subset of the same individuals was also available from the literature. The data indicate that the partitioning of mtDNA ancestry in the Yungas differs significantly from that in the rest of the country: 81% Native American, 18% African, and 1% European. Interestingly, the great majority of 'Afro-descendant' mtDNA haplotypes in the Yungas (84%) concentrates in the locality of Tocaña. This high proportion of African ancestry in the Tocaña is also manifested in the Y-chromosome (44%) and in the autosomes (56%). In sharp contrast with previous studies on the TAST, the ancestry of about 1/3 of the 'Afro-Bolivian' mtDNA haplotypes can be traced back to East and South East Africa, which may be at least partially explained by the Arab slave trade connected to the TAST.

PMID:
26263179
PMCID:
PMC4532489
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0134129
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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