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MORENO, Andrés  and  SANDOVAL, Karla. Diversidad genómica en México: Pasado indígena y mestizaje. Cuicuilco [online]. 2013, vol.20, n.58, pp.249-275. ISSN 0185-1659.

Mexico's indigenous past is preserved not only in historical records, pre-Columbian cities, and its current ethnic and linguistic diversity, but also in their genes. The advances in genomics and the accelerated development of new sequencing and genotyping technologies have revolutionized our capacity to analyze genes and even full genomes. Through a joint effort involving Mexican and International research groups, we have conducted the most detailed genomic survey of the Mexican people to date. By analyzing more than 100 000 genomic positions in nearly 500 individuals from 20 diverse Mexican ethnic groups, we have determined the fine-scale population structure of Native Mexicans and evaluated its impact into the composition of admixed Mexican genomes across the country. We found a close relationship between the different indigenous components and their proportional contribution into the admixed population, indicating that ancestral lineages have been retained with great geographical detail among different mestizo subpopulations. The variation in ancestry proportions between individuals are the result of a clinal pattern, rather than discrete differences, which questions the categorical distinction between indigenous and the so-called mestizos. Membership and self-identification must follow social and cultural criteria, but not genetic ones. Thus the use of such dichotomous terminology, which has historically reinforced social segregation between indigenous and mestizo, lacks genetic support; reassuring that genes do not support the social differences created among human population groups.

Keywords : Human genome; genetic ancestry; polymorphism; haplotype; population structure; admixture; indigenous diversity; evolutionary history.

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