Genomic continuity of Argentinean Mennonites

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 8;6:36392. doi: 10.1038/srep36392.


Mennonites are Anabaptist communities that originated in Central Europe about 500 years ago. They initially migrated to different European countries, and in the early 18th century they established their first communities in North America, from where they moved to other American regions. We aimed to analyze an Argentinean Mennonite congregation from a genome-wide perspective by way of investigating >580.000 autosomal SNPs. Several analyses show that Argentinean Mennonites have European ancestry without signatures of admixture with other non-European American populations. Among the worldwide datasets used for population comparison, the CEU, which is the best-subrogated Central European population existing in The 1000 Genome Project, is the dataset showing the closest genome affinity to the Mennonites. When compared to other European population samples, the Mennonites show higher inbreeding coefficient values. Argentinean Mennonites show signatures of genetic continuity with no evidence of admixture with Americans of Native American or sub-Saharan African ancestry. Their genome indicates the existence of an increased endogamy compared to other Europeans most likely mirroring their lifestyle that involve small communities and historical consanguineous marriages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Argentina
  • Consanguinity
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genome, Human
  • Genotyping Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*