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Charting the Ancestry of African Americans

Salas, Antonio, Carracedo, Ángel, Richards, Martin B. and Macaulay, Vincent (2005) Charting the Ancestry of African Americans. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 77 (4). pp. 676-680. ISSN 0002-9297

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The Atlantic slave trade promoted by West European empires (15th–19th centuries) forcibly moved at least 11 million people from Africa, including about one-third from west-central Africa, to European and American destinations. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome has retained an imprint of this process, but previous analyses lacked west-central African data. Here, we make use of an African database of 4,860 mtDNAs, which include 948 mtDNA sequences from west-central Africa and a further 154 from the southwest, and compare these for the first time with a publicly available database of 1,148 African Americans from the United States that contains 1,053 mtDNAs of sub-Saharan ancestry. We show that >55% of the U.S. lineages have a West African ancestry, with <41% coming from west-central or southwestern Africa. These results are remarkably similar to the most up-to-date analyses of the historical record.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2014 12:47
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 11:41


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