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Keywords:

  • Cândido Godói;
  • twins;
  • population structure;
  • isonymy;
  • founder effect

Summary

Cândido Godói is a small Brazilian town known for high rates of twin birth. In 2011, a genetic study showed that this localized high rate of twin births could be explained by a genetic founder effect. Here we used isonymic analysis and surname distribution to identify population subgroups within 5316 inhabitants and 665 different surnames. Four clusters were constructed based on different twin rates (P < 0.001; MRPP test). Fisher's α and consanguinity index showed low and high values, respectively, corresponding with observed values in isolated communities with high levels of genetic drift. Values of A and B estimators confirmed population isolation. Three boundaries were identified with Monmonier's maximum difference algorithm (P = 0.007). Inside the isolated sections, surnames of different geographic origins, language, and religion were represented. With an adequate statistical methodology, surname analyses provided a close approximation of historic and socioeconomic background at the moment of colony settlement. In this context, the maintenance of social and cultural practices had strong implications for the population's structure leading to drift processes in this small town, supporting the previous genetic study.