May 2, 2009

The genetic structure and history of Africans and African Americans

Science
Sarah A TishkoffScott M Williams

Abstract

Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (approximately 71%), European (approximately 13%), and other African (approximately 8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies.

  • References44
  • Citations541

References

  • References44
  • Citations541

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Short Tandem Repeat
African Continental Ancestry Group
Labor Migration
Gene Deletion Abnormality
Phylogeny
Ethnic Group
Human Geography
African American
Deletion Mutation
Racial Group

Related Feeds

CZI Human Cell Atlas Seed Network

The aim of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) is to build reference maps of all human cells in order to enhance our understanding of health and disease. The Seed Networks for the HCA project aims to bring together collaborators with different areas of expertise in order to facilitate the development of the HCA. Find the latest research from members of the HCA Seed Networks here.

Related Papers

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Katarzyna BrycCarlos D Bustamante
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Brenna M HennMarcus W Feldman
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Laura B ScheinfeldtSarah A Tishkoff
© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved