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Pre- and Post-Columbian Gene and Cultural Continuity: The Case of the Gaucho from Southern BrazilMarrero A.R.a · Bravi C.b · Stuart S.c · Long J.C.d · Pereira das Neves Leite F.a, e · Kommers T.e · Carvalho C.M.B.f · Pena S.D.J.f · Ruiz-Linares A.c · Salzano F.M.a · Cátira Bortolini M.a
aDepartamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil; bLaboratorio de Genética Molecular Poblacional, Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Celular (IMBICE), La Plata, Argentina; cThe Galton Laboratory, University College, London, UK; dDepartment of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich., USA; eInstituto Geral de Perícias, Porto Alegre, RS, and fDepartamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Objective: To investigate the evolutionary and demographic history of the Gaucho, a distinct population of southern Brazil, relating it to their culture, to assess possible parallel continuity. Methods: Six binary polymorphisms, an Alu insertion polymorphism (YAP) and 12 short tandem repeat loci in the non-recombining region of the Y-chromosome, as well as the sequence of the first hypervariable segment (HVS-I) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region were studied in 150 unrelated males born in the Pampa region of Rio Grande do Sul. Results: Comparison of the results with the other Brazilian and Uruguayan populations, as well as with their putative ancestors, indicated a stronger male Spanish influence than that observed elsewhere in Brazil, a former Portuguese colony. Extensive mtDNA analyses of their Amerindian component gave clear indications of the presence there of material from extinct (Charrua), as well as extant (Guarani) tribes. Conclusions: The genetic analyses contributed in a significant way to reveal that the known cultural continuity between pre- and post-Columbian Pampa populations was also accompanied by an extraordinary genetic continuity.
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