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The role of natural selection on the diversification of Native American populations

Grant number: 17/14916-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Human and Medical Genetics
Principal researcher:Tábita Hünemeier
Grantee:Cainã Max Couto da Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/26875-9 - Native American genome diversity, AP.JP


First humans arrived in America about 15,000 years ago through Bering Strait, a land bridge connecting the northwest American continent to the northeast Asian continent during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). After entering America, first Americans quickly spread themselves across the continent, inhabiting all altitudes in less than 5,000 years. During such expansion, these first migrants faced up extreme ecosystems, such as Andes highlands and the Amazon rainforest. In addition, over time, different modes of subsistence were developed: in the Andes and Mesoamerica, hunter-gathers gave rise to great agriculturalist societies, while in the Amazonian and Sub-Amazonian regions, populations have improved the hunter-gatherer lifestyle over the time. Although America is an excellent model for studying the role of natural selection in the population diversification, since it presents populations adapted to different ecosystem and mode of subsistence, there are few studies regarding this subject. Therefore, this present project aims to study Native American populations from different ecoregions (Andes, Amazonia, and Mesoamerica), looking for possible molecular marks left by adaptive processes to which such populations were exposed throughout their evolutionary history. For this purpose, we will use genomic data (SNP arrays) of 22 Native American populations (328) individuals) from Mesoamerica, Andes, and Amazonia, previously published in the literature, as well as data that will be generated for this project. (AU)

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