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Afromexico genomics project: The genetic ancestry and health of the Afrodescendant population of Mexico. Avila, Maria


Despite having received 200,000 Africans during the slave trade, no study in Mexico has focused on the characterization of the African genetic ancestry of its Afro-descendant population. In this study we worked together with Afro-Mexican communities to characterize their genetic ancestry using dense genome-wide genotyping. The dataset consists of 380 self-identified Afro-descendants, indigenous and mestizo population from three Mexican states. To complement the genome-wide genotype data, we collected genealogical, self-identification and phenotypes such as skin pigmentation, height, weight, hip to waist ratio and hemoglobin. By exploring local genetic ancestry and admixture patterns in this population, as well as correlations between the genetic ancestry, self-identification and phenotypes; we have characterized aspects of their demographic history and some trends of public health relevance. Lastly, since Afro-Mexicans currently suffer from poverty, discrimination, lack of recognition as a vulnerable minority, and limited access to health services, this study contributes to their appreciation as part of Mexicoâ s mosaic of diversity and will hopefully set the stage for health interventions.

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