Another ASHG 2010 abstract. Using CEU and Maasai reference populations, the authors estimate Yemenis average about 14.8% African admixture.
Autosomal African admixture in Yemeni populations. R. L. Raaum1, A. M. Al-Meeri2, C. J. Mulligan3 1) Anthropology, Lehman College & The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY; 2) Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Sana'a University, Sana'a, Yemen; 3) Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Approximately 30% of mtDNA lineages in South Arabian samples are African L haplotypes, whose origin has usually been attributed to migration and assimilation of African females into the Arabian population over approximately the last 2,500 years. Few In contrast, few Y chromosome lineages of clear recent sub-Saharan African origin have been found in Southern Arabian populations. This bias in maternal and paternal lineages is in accord with historical accounts of the female bias in the Middle Eastern slave trade. In order to evaluate autosomal African ancestry, we collected high-resolution SNP genotype data from a geographically representative set of 62 Yemenis selected from a collection of 552 samples acquired in the Spring of 2007. The ancestry of chromosomal segments in the Yemeni population was estimated using a haplotype-based local ancestry estimation method, HAPMIX. The HAPMIX method is based on a two way admixture model that requires two phased reference populations; we used the HapMap Yoruba in Ibadan, Nigeria (YRI), Luhya in Webuye, Kenya (LWK), Maasai in Kinyawa, Kenya (MKK), and CEPH US residents with ancestry from northern and western Europe (CEU) samples. The three African reference populations include two Bantu-speaking groups (YRI and LWK) and one Nilotic-speaking group (MKK). We estimated local ancestry in the Yemeni sample with all three European-African reference population combinations (CEU-YRI, CEU-LWK, CEU-MKK). The correlations among African ancestry calculated using all three reference population combinations are high (r > 0.98 in all pairwise correlations). Furthermore, there is no significant difference between the average proportion of African ancestry in Yemenis calculated using either of the two Bantu-speaking reference populations: CEU-YRI (mean 0.062, sd 0.044) and CEU-LWK (mean 0.076, sd 0.049) (p=0.13, two-tailed Welch two sample t-test). However, the average African ancestry calculated using the Maasai reference population (CEU-MKK, mean 0.148, sd 0.060) is significantly greater from that calculated using either the Yoruba or Luhya reference populations (p < 0.0001 in both comparison, two-tailed Welch two sample t-test). These data suggest that the source population for the African ancestry of the Yemeni population is more similar to the contemporary Maasai population than either the Luhya or Yoruba.