Further evidence of an Amerindian contribution to the Polynesian gene pool on Easter Island

Authors

  • E. Thorsby,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Immunology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
      Erik Thorsby, MD
      Institute of Immunology
      Rikshospitalet University Hospital
      N-0027 Oslo
      Norway
      Tel: +47 2307 3500
      Fax: +47 2307 3510
      e-mail: erik.thorsby@medisin.uio.no
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  • S. T. Flåm,

    1. Institute of Immunology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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  • B. Woldseth,

    1. Institute of Immunology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
    2. Medical Department, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
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  • B. M. Dupuy,

    1. Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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  • A. Sanchez-Mazas,

    1. Laboratory of Anthropology, Genetics and Peopling History, Department of Anthropology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
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  • M. A. Fernandez-Vina

    1. Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
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Erik Thorsby, MD
Institute of Immunology
Rikshospitalet University Hospital
N-0027 Oslo
Norway
Tel: +47 2307 3500
Fax: +47 2307 3510
e-mail: erik.thorsby@medisin.uio.no

Abstract

Available evidence suggests a Polynesian origin of the Easter Island population. We recently found that some native Easter Islanders also carried some common American Indian (Amerindian) human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles, which probably were introduced before Europeans discovered the island in 1722. In this study, we report molecular genetic investigations of 21 other selected native Easter Islanders. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome markers showed no traces of an Amerindian contribution. However, high-resolution genomic HLA typing showed that two individuals carried some other common Amerindian HLA alleles, different from those found in our previous investigations. The new data support our previous evidence of an Amerindian contribution to the gene pool on Easter Island.

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