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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article notes that the field of population genetics can contribute to efforts to learn about the pre-Columbian migrations to the Caribbean that gave rise to the different societies, which existed by the end of the fifteenth century. Nonrecombining elements of DNA have been the most common tool of choice of scientists tracing the routes by which humans colonized the world from East Africa. These have been the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the nonrecombining region of the Y chromosome (NRY). Genetic drift may explain why only 7 of the 19 Amerindian mtDNA lineages described for Puerto Rico can be found in Hispaniola, producing a statistically significant population differentiation between both islands. An alternative explanation may be that the Amerindian mtDNAs from both islands originated through different migratory processes.

Keywords: population genetics, genetic drift, pre-Columbian migrations, mitochondrial DNA, NRY

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