• ABO blood group system;
  • molecular alleles;
  • Aymara and Huilliche Indians;
  • genetic admixture markers


A molecular characterization of alleles O1, O1variant (O1v), and the mutation G542A of the ABO blood group was performed in two Amerindian populations of Chile, the Aymara (n = 84) and the Huilliche (n = 75). In addition, a sample of 82 individuals of Santiago belonging to the mixed Chilean population was typed for comparative purposes. The polymorphisms which allow for molecular differentiation of different alleles of the O blood group were studied in genomic DNA. The mutations G188, G261−, G542A, T646A, and C771T, described for alleles O1, O1v, and G542A, were determined using the PCR-RFLP (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) technique. All individuals studied were group O homozygotes for the deletion G261−, which defines the O1 alleles. Results obtained indicate that allele O1v exhibits frequencies of 0.65, 0.81, and 0.60 in Aymara, Huilliche, and Santiago populations, respectively. The frequencies of allele O1(G542A) were 0.119, 0.113, and 0.079 in the same populations. Frequencies for alleles O1 and O1v obtained in the Chilean populations studied concur with the results obtained by other authors, respecting the greater frequency of allele O1v as well as with its heterogeneous distribution in aboriginal South American populations. In Chilean populations, Allele G542A exhibits lower frequencies than those described for indigenous populations from Brazil and may be used as an Amerind admixture marker. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.