Genetic and Craniometric Comparative Analysis of Three Mexican Populations
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Previous research has shown that craniometric data can serve as a proxy for molecular data (Relethford 2001, Roseman 2004) and that cranial shape is somewhat shaped by gene flow (Relethford 2004). Previous research on admixture frequencies suggests that complex population histories resulting from differential admixture account for the complex patterns of biological variation found throughout Mexico (Merriwether et al. 1997, Juárez-Cedillo et al. 2008). The purpose of this study is to test whether or not craniometric data show the same population patterns as molecular data and if so, can it be used to help reconstruct population history for archaeological groups in North and Central Mexico.
Craniometric data were obtained from the Sonora, Michoácan, and Tlanepantla groups, dating between AD 1200 and 1500 (Beekman and Christensen 2003) and curated at the American Museum of Natural History. Molecular data were obtained that best approximated the craniometric groups, including the Tarahumara, Purépecha, and the Otomi. Allele distributions forsix Y-linked short tandem repeats (STRs) in the Tarahumara and Purepécha populations were obtained from previously published data (Rangel-Villalobos et al. 2008). Allele distributions for the same six Y-linked STRs in the Otomi population were also studied (Barrot et al. 2007). Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup frequencies from the same populations, Tarahumara, Purépecha, and Otomi, were used as well (Peñaloza-Espinosa et al. 2007). Distance matrices for the molecular data were obtained in the Kship program (Jantz, no date) and the craniometric distance matrix was obtained in Rmet (Relethford, 2003). Mantel tests were also performed. There were no statistically significant correlations found. Evidence for patrilocality was seen with the FST estimates and the distance matrices. When geography was considered, it was found that populations that were farthest away had the strongest similarity, except in the case of mtDNA, in which the most similar followed geographic distance.