Restriction and persistence of polymorphisms of HLA and other blood genetic traits in the Parakanã Indians of Brazil



Results concerning HLA types and 22 other blood genetic systems are reported for the Parakanã Indians of northern Brazil, a tribe that is notable for the light color and pilosity of some of its members. No clear evidence of Caucasoid admixture was found, but the Parkanã show unusual frequencies in the EsD1, PGM11, Gc2, CpB, Fya, Dia, and LM genetic markers. In addition, the very rare Rh allele ry is present, as well as what seems to be a new PGM2 variant. There is very limited heterogeneity in the HLA system. All these distinctive features may have arisen through a combination of founder effects and genetic drift. However, low Fis values, as well as higher mean ages in heterozygous as compared to homozygous persons, suggest that an heterotic effect is counteracting these dispersive forces.