Brief communication: 5-HTTLPR genetic diversity and mode of subsistence in Native Americans

Authors

  • Rafael Bisso-Machado,

    1. Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Virginia Ramallo,

    1. Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Eduardo Tarazona-Santos,

    1. Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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  • Francisco M. Salzano,

    1. Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Maria Cátira Bortolini,

    1. Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Tábita Hünemeier

    Corresponding author
    • Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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Correspondence to: Tábita Hünemeier, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Genética e Biologia Molecular, Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Caixa Postal 15053, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. E-mail: hunemeier@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

The relationship between the “individualism-collectivism” and the serotonin transporter functional polymorphism (5-HTTLPR), suggested in the previous reports, was tested in Native South Amerindian populations. A total of 170 individuals from 21 populations were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR alleles. For comparative purposes, these populations were classified as individualistic (recent history of hunter–gathering) or collectivistic (agriculturalists). These two groups showed an almost identical S allele frequency (75 and 76%, respectively). The analysis of molecular variance showed no structural differences between them. Behavioral typologies like those suggested by JY Chiao and KD Blizinsky (Proc R Soc B 277 (2010) 529–537) are always a simplification of complex phenomena and should be regarded with caution. In addition, classification of a whole nation in the individualist/collectivist dichotomy is controversial. The focus on modes of subsistence in preindustrial societies, as was tested here, may be a good alternative although the postulated association between the 5-HTTLPR S allele and the collectivist societies was not confirmed. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:492–494, 2013.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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