The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits

Andrés Moreno-Estrada, Christopher R. Gignoux, Juan Carlos Fernández-López, Fouad Zakharia, Martin Sikora, Alejandra V. Contreras, Victor Acuña-Alonzo, Karla Sandoval, Celeste Eng, Sandra Romero-Hidalgo, Patricia Ortiz-Tello, Victoria Robles, Eimear E. Kenny, Ismael Nuño-Arana, Rodrigo Barquera-Lozano, Gastón Macín-Pérez, Julio Granados-Arriola, Scott Huntsman, Joshua M. Galanter, Marc ViaJean G. Ford, Rocío Chapela, William Rodriguez-Cintron, Jose R. Rodríguez-Santana, Isabelle Romieu, Juan José Sienra-Monge, Blanca Del Rio Navarro, Stephanie J. London, Andrés Ruiz-Linares, Rodrigo Garcia-Herrera, Karol Estrada, Alfredo Hidalgo-Miranda, Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez, Alessandra Carnevale, Xavier Soberón, Samuel Canizales-Quinteros, Héctor Rangel-Villalobos, Irma Silva-Zolezzi, Esteban Gonzalez Burchard, Carlos D. Bustamante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

285 Scopus citations


Mexico harbors great cultural and ethnic diversity, yet fine-scale patterns of human genome-wide variation from this region remain largely uncharacterized. We studied genomic variation within Mexico from over 1000 individuals representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo populations. We found striking genetic stratification among indigenous populations within Mexico at varying degrees of geographic isolation. Some groups were as differentiated as Europeans are from East Asians. Pre-Columbian genetic substructure is recapitulated in the indigenous ancestry of admixed mestizo individuals across the country. Furthermore, two independently phenotyped cohorts of Mexicans and Mexican Americans showed a significant association between subcontinental ancestry and lung function. Thus, accounting for fine-scale ancestry patterns is critical for medical and population genetic studies within Mexico, in Mexican-descent populations, and likely in many other populations worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1285
Number of pages6
Issue number6189
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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