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Revista argentina de antropología biológica

On-line version ISSN 1514-7991


MOTTI, Josefina M.B et al. Origen y distribución espacial de linajes maternos nativos en el noroeste y centro oeste argentinos. Rev Arg Antrop Biol [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.1, pp.3-14. ISSN 1514-7991.

The use of mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms for identifying human populations has allowed the distinction of geographical patterns of lineage distribution, detecting possible peopling routes. In Argentina there are regions that were classically defined as empty of Native American people, leaving areas without information regarding the Native lineage distribution. However, the peoples of the Center-West and North-West were not exterminated but biologically assimilated first to the colonial society and then to the state society. The admixture processes had a sex-asymmetric tendency, allowing the conservation of maternal lineages in high proportions. In this paper we analyze 1951 samples from healthcare centers in 14 locations of the Center-West and North-West of Argentina and we found that 90% of the mitochondrial haplogroups are American. This means that by studying the current population we can access the Native American mitochondrial lineages. In this context we tested grouping locations by their haplogroup frequency distribution with an AMOVA. We found that Maimará and La Quiaca are a clearly differentiated entity, in coincidence with archaeological and linguistic data. It should be pointed out that the high frequencies of haplogroup D in La Rioja and haplogroup A in Villa Tulumaya may represent prehispanic population phenomena. We hypothesize then the usefulness of studying the current population as a way to know the origin of native mitochondrial lineages and their spatial distribution.

Keywords : Mitochondrial DNA; Native Americans; Miscegenation.

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