April 2010 (82:2)
Table of Contents
The Most Ancient Democracy in the World is a Genetic Isolate: An Autosomal and Y Chromosome Study of the Hermit Village Malana ( Himachal Pradesh, India)
Rajiv Giroti , Indu Talwar
Malana a small village in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India has historically been considered as a hermit village. It has a census size nowadays of 1101 individuals. Geographical, linguistic and population imposed barriers have contributed to its seclusion. However little is known about the extent to which during the years of isolation the population has genetically differentiated. To address this issue we genotyped 48 Malanis individuals at 15 highly polymorphic autosomal STR loci. We found that Malanis have lost some genetic variability present in the cosmopolitan caste populations and highly mobile pastoral cultures of India. But there is no evidence that they have gone through a severe bottleneck as the average population still showed a mean of 6.86 alleles per locus compared to a mean of 7.80 to 8.93 for non-isolated populations. AMOVA differentiates Malanis from rest of the comparison populations. Population structure revealed by MDS analysis of standard genetic distances lends support to AMOVA. Our results are consistent with social heterogeneity of the Malanis. We also analyzed 17 Y chromosome STRs in 30 individuals to assess the paternal gene pool. The Malanis are characterized by a general low Y chromosome haplotype diversity. A network analysis indicates two closely related haplotypes accounting for a large proportion of Malanis Y chromosomes. We predicted Y-haplogroups and found that J2 and R1a were the most prevalent. Genetic drift and limited gene flow leading to reduced genetic diversity were considered to be important in determining the present genetic structure of highly endogamous Malana village.
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Investigation of Ancient DNA from Western Siberia and the Sargat Culture.
Casey C. Bennett, Frederika A. Kaestle
Mitochondrial DNA from fourteen archaeological samples at the Ural State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia was extracted to test the feasibility of ancient DNA work on their collection.  These samples come from a number of sites that fall into two groupings. Seven samples are from three sites that belong to a northern group of what are thought to be Ugrians dating to the 8th-12th century AD, who lived along the Ural Mountains in northwestern Siberia.  The remaining seven samples are from two sites that belong to a southern group representing the Sargat culture, dating between roughly the 5th century BC and the 5th century AD, from southwestern Siberia near the Ural Mountains and the present-day Kazakhstan border. The samples derived from several burial types, including kurgan burials.  They also represented a number of different skeletal elements, as well as a range of observed preservation.  The northern sites repeatedly failed to amplify after multiple extraction and amplification attempts, but the samples from the southern sites were successfully extracted and amplified.  The sequences obtained from the southern sites support the hypothesis that the Sargat culture was a potential zone of intermixture between native Ugrian and/or Siberian populations and steppe peoples from the South, possibly early Iranian or Indo-Iranian, which has been previously suggested by archaeological analysis.
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Mitochondrial DNA of Protohistoric Remains of an Arikara Population from the Northern Plains (USA): Implications for the Macro-Siouan Language Hypothesis.
Diana M. Lawrence, Brian M. Kemp, Jason Eshleman, Richard L. Jantz, Meradeth Snow, Debra George and David Glenn Smith
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was extracted from skeletal remains excavated from three Arikara sites in South Dakota occupied between AD 1600 and 1832. The diagnostic markers of four mtDNA haplogroups to which most Native Americans belong (A, B, C and D) were successfully identified in the extracts of 55 (87%) of the 63 samples studied. The frequencies of the four haplogroups were 42%, 29%, 22% and 7%, respectfully, and principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) and Fisher’s Exact tests were conducted to compare these haplogroup fequencies with those from other populations. Both analyses showed closer similarity among the Mohawk, Arikara and Sioux populations than between any of these three and any other of the populations. Portions of the first hypervariable segment  (HVSI)  of the mitochondrial genome were successfully amplified and sequenced for 42 of these 55 samples and haplotype networks were constructed for two of the four haplogroups. The sharing of highly derived lineages suggests that some recent admixture of Arikara with Algonquian-speaking and Siouan-speaking groups has occurred. The Arikara shared more ancient lineages with both Siouan and Cherokee populations than with any other population, consistent with the Macro-Siouan language hypothesis that Iroquoian, Siouan and Caddoan languages share a relatively recent common ancestry.
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A genealogical analysis of maternal and paternal lineages in the Quebec (Canada) population.
Marc Tremblay, Hélène Vézina
The Quebec population is one of the rare populations of its size for which genealogical information is available for an uninterrupted period of almost four centuries. This allows for in-depth studies on the formation and the evolution of a young founder population. Using data from two major population registers, this study focuses on the maternal and paternal lineages (i.e. strictly female or male genealogical lines) that can be traced back within the Quebec genealogies. Through the analysis of these lineages it is possible to characterize the founders who have transmitted to the contemporary population their mitochondrial (for females) and Y chromosome (for males) DNA. The basic material consists of a corpus of 2,221 ascending genealogies of subjects who married in the Quebec population between 1945 and 1965. On average, more than nine generations of ancestors were identified among the lineages. Analyses of maternal and paternal lineages show that the number of paternal founders is higher and their origins and genetic contributions are more variable than that of maternal founders, leading to a larger effective population size and greater diversity of Y chromosomes in comparison with mtDNA. This is explained for the most part by differential migratory patterns among male and female founders of the Quebec population. Comparisons of sex-specific genetic contributions with total genetic contribution showed a strong correlation between the two values, with some discrepancies related to sex-ratio differences among the founders’ first descendants.
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Assessment of Sexual Dimorphism: A Critical Discussion in a (Paleo)Anthropological Context.
Santiago L. Ipiña, Ana I. Durand
Viewed as a biological concept, sexual dimorphism does not appear to motivate debate. However, with the aim of measuring such dimorphism, multiple indices have been proposed which have not all been regarded as equally reliable by the biological community. The main divergence between indices is likely due to the fact that the definition of most of them is based upon appraising only partial features - e.g., the mean parameter - of the set of measurements corresponding to each sex. Provided that sexual dimorphism can be satisfactorily analyzed when random variables and their distribution functions are involved, it is also likely that the conjecture according to which the two sexes comprising a population are independent enables such indices to be clearly distinguished. The quotient of sample means, the sample range, the sample coefficient of variation, the overlapping area between two independent normal distributions, along with the overlapping area between the functions making up a mixture of two normal distributions were, basically, the measures of sexual dimorphismexamined and compared, their inferential structures having been especially considered.
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Brief communication Investigating SNPs Flanking the D1S80 Locus in a Tamil population from India.
Kuppareddi Balamurugan, Robert Pomeroy, George Duncan, Martin Tracey
D1S80 is a 16 base pair Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) minisatellite. We report analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) flanking this locus in a Tamil population. Alleles ranged from 15 through 41 with alleles 18 and 24 being predominant with 31% and 34.5% respectively suggesting a bimodal allelic distribution. All ‘18 repeat’ alleles are associated with HinfI (+) and Fnu4HI (-) restriction site polymorphisms at the 5’ and 3’ ends respectively. Allele 24 is associated with HinfI(-) and Fnu4HI(+). 98.5% of the alleles tested have a linkage of two specific SNP polymorphisms. If an allele is positive (+) for HinfI, then it is negative (-) for Fnu4HI and if an allele is negative (-) for HinfI, it is then positive (+) for Fnu4HI, which demonstrates strong linkage disequilibrium between the two polymorphic SNPs. This suggests that reciprocal crossover is not involved in changes in the number of repeats, as few exchanges are seen in the flanking regions. The repeat allele-SNP association suggests that it might be involved with the internal structure of the locus micro-polymorphisms possibly a double strand break hotspot.
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Letter to the Editor Ancient DNA Methodology: Thoughts from Brian M. Kemp and David Glenn Smith on “Mitochondrial DNA of Protohistoric Remains of an Arikara Population from South Dakota” 
Brian M. Kemp and David Glenn Smith
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 Book Review Biological Systematics: Principles and Applications
Pierre Darlu
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August 2010 (82:4)
June 2010 (82:3) In press
April 2010 (82:2)
February 2010 (82:1)
October-December 2009 (81:5-6)
Special Issue on the Lasker Prize winning articles 1992-2005
August 2009 (81:4)
April-June 2009 (81:2-3)
Special Issue on « Demography and Cultural Macroevolution »
February 2009 (81:1)
December 2008 (80:6)
October 2008 (80:5)
August 2008 (80:4)

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