The magnitude and origin of European-American admixture in the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona: a union of genetics and demography

Am J Hum Genet. 1992 Jul;51(1):101-10.


Complementary genetic and demographic analyses estimate the total proportion of European-American admixture in the Gila River Indian Community and trace its mode of entry. Among the 9,616 residents in the sample, 2,015 persons claim only partial Native American heritage. A procedure employing 23 alleles or haplotypes at eight loci was used to estimate the proportion of European-American admixture, m(a), for the entire sample and within six categories of Caucasian admixture calculated from demographic data, md. The genetic analysis gave an estimate of total European-American admixture in the community of 0.054 (95% confidence interval [CI] .044-.063), while an estimate from demographic records was similar, .059. Regression of m(a) on md yielded a fitted line m(a) = .922md, r = .959 (P = .0001). When total European-American admixture is partitioned between the contributing populations, Mexican-Americans have provided .671, European-Americans .305, and African-Americans .023. These results are discussed within the context of the ethnic composition of the Gila River Indian Community, the assumptions underlying the methods, and the potential that demographic data have for enriching genetic measurements of human admixture. It is concluded that, despite the severe assumptions of the mathematical methods, accurate, reliable estimates of genetic admixture are possible from allele and haplotype frequencies, even when there is little demographic information for the population.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Arizona
  • Demography
  • Europe
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Gene Pool
  • Genetics, Population
  • Humans
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Indians, North American / genetics*
  • Mexico