Human Genetics

, Volume 124, Issue 3, pp 207–214 | Cite as

Genome-wide distribution of ancestry in Mexican Americans

  • Analabha Basu
  • Hua Tang
  • Xiaofeng Zhu
  • C. Charles Gu
  • Craig Hanis
  • Eric Boerwinkle
  • Neil Risch
Original Investigation


Migrations to the new world brought together individuals from Europe, Africa and the Americans. Inter-mating between these migrant and indigenous populations led to the subsequent formation of new admixed populations, such as African and Latino Americans. These unprecedented events brought together genomes that had evolved independently on different continents for tens of thousands of years and presented new environmental challenges for the indigenous and migrant populations, as well as their offspring. These circumstances provided novel opportunities for natural selection to occur that could be reflected in deviations at specific locations from the genome-wide ancestry distribution. Here we present an analysis examining European, Native American and African ancestry based on 284 microsatellite markers in a study of Mexican Americans from the Family Blood Pressure Program. We identified two genomic regions where there was a significant decrement in African ancestry (at 2p25.1, p < 10−8 and 9p24.1, p < 2 × 10−5) and one region with a significant increase in European ancestry (at 1p33, p < 2 × 10−5). These locations may harbor genes that have been subjected to natural selection after the ancestral mixing giving rise to Mexicans.


European Ancestry Ancestral Population African Ancestry Latino Population Random Genetic Drift 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by grants awarded to the Family Blood Pressure Program, which is supported by a series of cooperative agreements from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to GenNet, HyperGEN, GENOA and SAPPHIRe.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Analabha Basu
    • 1
  • Hua Tang
    • 2
  • Xiaofeng Zhu
    • 3
  • C. Charles Gu
    • 4
  • Craig Hanis
    • 5
  • Eric Boerwinkle
    • 5
  • Neil Risch
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Institute for Human GeneticsUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsStanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsCase Western Reserve University School of MedicineClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Division of BiostatisticsWashington University School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Texas Health Science CenterHoustonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.Division of ResearchKaiser PermanenteOaklandUSA

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