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Decrypting the mitochondrial gene pool of modern Panamanians.

Perego UA, Lancioni H, Tribaldos M, Angerhofer N, Ekins JE, Olivieri A, Woodward SR, Pascale JM, Cooke R, Motta J, Achilli A - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: The majority (~83%) of Panamanian mtDNAs clustered into native pan-American lineages, mostly represented by haplogroup A2 (51%).These findings reveal an overwhelming native maternal legacy in today's Panama, which is in contrast with the overall concept of personal identity shared by many Panamanians.Moreover, the A2 sub-clades A2ad and A2af (with the previously named 6 bp Huetar deletion), when analyzed at the maximum level of resolution (26 entire mitochondrial genomes), confirm the major role of the Pacific coastal path in the peopling of North, Central and South America, and testify to the antiquity of native mitochondrial genomes in Panama.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The Isthmus of Panama--the narrow neck of land connecting the northern and southern American landmasses--was an obligatory corridor for the Paleo-Indians as they moved into South America. Archaeological evidence suggests an unbroken link between modern natives and their Paleo-Indian ancestors in some areas of Panama, even if the surviving indigenous groups account for only 12.3% of the total population. To evaluate if modern Panamanians have retained a larger fraction of the native pre-Columbian gene pool in their maternally-inherited mitochondrial genome, DNA samples and historical records were collected from more than 1500 volunteer participants living in the nine provinces and four indigenous territories of the Republic. Due to recent gene-flow, we detected ~14% African mitochondrial lineages, confirming the demographic impact of the Atlantic slave trade and subsequent African immigration into Panama from Caribbean islands, and a small European (~2%) component, indicating only a minor influence of colonialism on the maternal side. The majority (~83%) of Panamanian mtDNAs clustered into native pan-American lineages, mostly represented by haplogroup A2 (51%). These findings reveal an overwhelming native maternal legacy in today's Panama, which is in contrast with the overall concept of personal identity shared by many Panamanians. Moreover, the A2 sub-clades A2ad and A2af (with the previously named 6 bp Huetar deletion), when analyzed at the maximum level of resolution (26 entire mitochondrial genomes), confirm the major role of the Pacific coastal path in the peopling of North, Central and South America, and testify to the antiquity of native mitochondrial genomes in Panama.

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Spatial frequency (%) distributions of mtDNA haplogroups among the analyzed samples.
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pone-0038337-g002: Spatial frequency (%) distributions of mtDNA haplogroups among the analyzed samples.

Mentions: Approximately one fourth of the subjects with TMA from Panama were from the provinces of Chiriquí (28%), followed by Panamá (13%), and then Veraguas (12%) (Figure 1). These selected samples were assigned to more than a hundred different haplogroups and sub-haplogroups (Tables 1 and S1), grouped on the basis of their geographic/ethnic prevalence (Figure 2). A total of 83.5% of the analyzed lineages are of Native American origin [1], [6], [8], [41]. Not surprisingly, a significant percentage of sub-Saharan African [42]–[44] (14.4%) mtDNAs were also detected (although none of the genealogical records gathered indicated such ancestry), while a few Western Eurasian [45], [46] (2.1%) and East Asian [47], [48] clades (only one G1a1 in Los Santos) were identified. It is worth noting that the highest frequency of European haplogroups is in the Panamá province (5.1%), geographically coinciding with a spike in the African lineage signals (20.8%). However, sub-Saharan lineages are most common across the Caribbean (Bocas del Toro, 35.0%; Colòn, 45.6%) and in the easternmost province of Panama (Darién, 42.2%). All the four common “pan-American” haplogroups (A2, B2, C1, and D1) are well represented (83.5% overall), but none of the rare Native American haplogroups (D4h3a, X2a, and C4c) were observed. More than half of the Panamanians belong to haplogroup A2 (51.1%), the most common native lineage observed in Central America [49]. When comparing the haplogroup origin distribution between provinces and comarcas the difference is highly significant (χ2p-value<0.0001), since, as expected, virtually all the samples with a TMA from the three comarcas (Ngäbe-Buglé, Emberá-Wounaan, and Kuna Yala) show Native American mtDNAs (99.2%). Intriguingly, the frequency of Native American haplogroups is quite different among the three comarcas (χ2p-value<0.0001), with a prevalence of A2 in Kuna Yala (77.1%) and C1/D1 in Emberá-Wounaan (40.9%/6.8%), while the Ngäbe and Buglé together are about half A2 and half B2. Subsequently, when taking into account the distribution of indigenous populations in Panama, these data become even more interesting: e.g. high percentages of C1 and D1 (6.7% and 2.2%, respectively) stood out in the Darién province, where the Emberá and Wounaan indigenous people are most prevalent [23]. Actually, the distribution of Native American haplogroups is significantly different (χ2p-value = 0.0004) between the eastern (southern) area of Panama (Panama Gulf provinces plus Colòn and Kuna Yala) and the western (northern) area. In fact, haplogroup C1 and D1 frequencies are noticeably higher in the eastern than the western area.


Decrypting the mitochondrial gene pool of modern Panamanians.

Perego UA, Lancioni H, Tribaldos M, Angerhofer N, Ekins JE, Olivieri A, Woodward SR, Pascale JM, Cooke R, Motta J, Achilli A - PLoS ONE (2012)

Spatial frequency (%) distributions of mtDNA haplogroups among the analyzed samples.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3366925&req=5

pone-0038337-g002: Spatial frequency (%) distributions of mtDNA haplogroups among the analyzed samples.
Mentions: Approximately one fourth of the subjects with TMA from Panama were from the provinces of Chiriquí (28%), followed by Panamá (13%), and then Veraguas (12%) (Figure 1). These selected samples were assigned to more than a hundred different haplogroups and sub-haplogroups (Tables 1 and S1), grouped on the basis of their geographic/ethnic prevalence (Figure 2). A total of 83.5% of the analyzed lineages are of Native American origin [1], [6], [8], [41]. Not surprisingly, a significant percentage of sub-Saharan African [42]–[44] (14.4%) mtDNAs were also detected (although none of the genealogical records gathered indicated such ancestry), while a few Western Eurasian [45], [46] (2.1%) and East Asian [47], [48] clades (only one G1a1 in Los Santos) were identified. It is worth noting that the highest frequency of European haplogroups is in the Panamá province (5.1%), geographically coinciding with a spike in the African lineage signals (20.8%). However, sub-Saharan lineages are most common across the Caribbean (Bocas del Toro, 35.0%; Colòn, 45.6%) and in the easternmost province of Panama (Darién, 42.2%). All the four common “pan-American” haplogroups (A2, B2, C1, and D1) are well represented (83.5% overall), but none of the rare Native American haplogroups (D4h3a, X2a, and C4c) were observed. More than half of the Panamanians belong to haplogroup A2 (51.1%), the most common native lineage observed in Central America [49]. When comparing the haplogroup origin distribution between provinces and comarcas the difference is highly significant (χ2p-value<0.0001), since, as expected, virtually all the samples with a TMA from the three comarcas (Ngäbe-Buglé, Emberá-Wounaan, and Kuna Yala) show Native American mtDNAs (99.2%). Intriguingly, the frequency of Native American haplogroups is quite different among the three comarcas (χ2p-value<0.0001), with a prevalence of A2 in Kuna Yala (77.1%) and C1/D1 in Emberá-Wounaan (40.9%/6.8%), while the Ngäbe and Buglé together are about half A2 and half B2. Subsequently, when taking into account the distribution of indigenous populations in Panama, these data become even more interesting: e.g. high percentages of C1 and D1 (6.7% and 2.2%, respectively) stood out in the Darién province, where the Emberá and Wounaan indigenous people are most prevalent [23]. Actually, the distribution of Native American haplogroups is significantly different (χ2p-value = 0.0004) between the eastern (southern) area of Panama (Panama Gulf provinces plus Colòn and Kuna Yala) and the western (northern) area. In fact, haplogroup C1 and D1 frequencies are noticeably higher in the eastern than the western area.

Bottom Line: The majority (~83%) of Panamanian mtDNAs clustered into native pan-American lineages, mostly represented by haplogroup A2 (51%).These findings reveal an overwhelming native maternal legacy in today's Panama, which is in contrast with the overall concept of personal identity shared by many Panamanians.Moreover, the A2 sub-clades A2ad and A2af (with the previously named 6 bp Huetar deletion), when analyzed at the maximum level of resolution (26 entire mitochondrial genomes), confirm the major role of the Pacific coastal path in the peopling of North, Central and South America, and testify to the antiquity of native mitochondrial genomes in Panama.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The Isthmus of Panama--the narrow neck of land connecting the northern and southern American landmasses--was an obligatory corridor for the Paleo-Indians as they moved into South America. Archaeological evidence suggests an unbroken link between modern natives and their Paleo-Indian ancestors in some areas of Panama, even if the surviving indigenous groups account for only 12.3% of the total population. To evaluate if modern Panamanians have retained a larger fraction of the native pre-Columbian gene pool in their maternally-inherited mitochondrial genome, DNA samples and historical records were collected from more than 1500 volunteer participants living in the nine provinces and four indigenous territories of the Republic. Due to recent gene-flow, we detected ~14% African mitochondrial lineages, confirming the demographic impact of the Atlantic slave trade and subsequent African immigration into Panama from Caribbean islands, and a small European (~2%) component, indicating only a minor influence of colonialism on the maternal side. The majority (~83%) of Panamanian mtDNAs clustered into native pan-American lineages, mostly represented by haplogroup A2 (51%). These findings reveal an overwhelming native maternal legacy in today's Panama, which is in contrast with the overall concept of personal identity shared by many Panamanians. Moreover, the A2 sub-clades A2ad and A2af (with the previously named 6 bp Huetar deletion), when analyzed at the maximum level of resolution (26 entire mitochondrial genomes), confirm the major role of the Pacific coastal path in the peopling of North, Central and South America, and testify to the antiquity of native mitochondrial genomes in Panama.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus