The Genomic Impact of European Colonization of the Americas.

December 02, 2019

Ongaro L1, Scliar MO2, Flores R3, Raveane A4, Marnetto D3, Sarno S5, Gnecchi-Ruscone GA6, Alarcón-Riquelme ME7, Patin E8, Wangkumhang P9, Hellenthal G9, Gonzalez-Santos M10, King RJ11, Kouvatsi A12, Balanovsky O13, Balanovska E13, Atramentova L14, Turdikulova S15, Mastana S16, Marjanovic D17, Mulahasanovic L18, Leskovac A19, Lima-Costa MF20, Pereira AC21, Barreto ML22, Horta BL23, Mabunda N24, May CA25, Moreno-Estrada A26, Achilli A4, Olivieri A4, Semino O4, Tambets K3, Kivisild T27, Luiselli D28, Torroni A4, Capelli C10, Tarazona-Santos E29, Metspalu M3, Pagani L30, Montinaro F31.


The human genetic diversity of the Americas has been affected by several events of gene flow that have continued since the colonial era and the Atlantic slave trade. Moreover, multiple waves of migration followed by local admixture occurred in the last two centuries, the impact of which has been largely unexplored. Here, we compiled a genome-wide dataset of ∼12,000 individuals from twelve American countries and ∼6,000 individuals from worldwide populations and applied haplotype-based methods to investigate how historical movements from outside the New World affected (1) the genetic structure, (2) the admixture profile, (3) the demographic history, and (4) sex-biased gene-flow dynamics of the Americas. We revealed a high degree of complexity underlying the genetic contribution of European and African populations in North and South America, from both geographic and temporal perspectives, identifying previously unreported sources related to Italy, the Middle East, and to specific regions of Africa.