Multivariate analysis of gametic disequilibrium in the Yanomama

P. E. Smouse, J. V. Neel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The gametic disequilibria between all possible pairs of loci were examined for a set of eight codominant loci in each of fifty Yanomama villages, using a multivariate correlation analysis which reduces the results to a single measure of departure from multiple-locus-gametic equilibrium. Thirty-two of the fifty villages departed significantly from multiple-locus gametic equilibrium. The largest contributions to the departure from multiple-locus equilibrium were due to the disequilibria between MN and Ss and between Rh(Cc) and Rh(Ee), indicating the effects of tight linkage. After removing the effects of these obvious sources of disequilibrium, sixteen of the fifty villages still remained significantly out of equilibrium. The disequilibrium between any particular pair of loci was highly erratic from village to village, and (with the exception of the MN-Ss and Cc-Ee disequilibria) averaged out very close to zero overall, suggesting a lack of systematic forces (epistatic selection). The departure from equilibrium in any one village is in excess of that expected from random sampling alone, and is attributed primarily to the fission-fusion mode of village formation operative in the Yanomama and the fact that a single village consists of a few extended lineages. Village allele frequencies are highly correlated across loci, and most of the non-independence is accounted for by large correlations in the average allelic frequencies of different loci for related villages. It is suggested that these correlations also are due to territorial expansion and population growth. For the tribe as a whole, all but the tightly linked markers of the MNSs and Rh complexes are approximately uncorrelated, and large departures from multiple-locus Hardy-Weinberg expectation are primarily due to substantial Wahlund variance within the tribe. There is no need to postulate a role for selection in these disequilibria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-752
Number of pages20
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Multivariate analysis of gametic disequilibrium in the Yanomama'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this