Historical records under the genetic evidence: "Chiriguano" tribe genesis as a test case

Mol Biol Rep. 2018 Oct;45(5):987-1000. doi: 10.1007/s11033-018-4246-0. Epub 2018 Jul 12.


Historical records suggest that Chiriguano tribe is the result of a genetic admixture event. The process involved the arrival of Guaraní tribesmen descending from Amazonian region of Brazil along with groups of Arawak origin that inhabited the foothill plains of Bolivia. Later they arrived in Argentina at the beginning of the twentieth century. Aiming to test the historical records, we analysed a set of 46 samples collected at San Ramon de la Nueva Orán, Province of Salta, Argentina. A wide set of uni- and biparentally transmitted genetic markers were analysed, including 23 autosomal STRs; 46 AIM-DIPs and 24 AIM-SNPs all located at diverse autosomal chromosome locations; 23 Y-STRs and the entire mtDNA D-Loop sequence. Ancestry informative markers allowed for the detection of a strong Native American component in the genomes (> 94%), while all mtDNA haplotypes showed Native American characteristic motives, and 93% of Y-haplotypes belonged to the Q1a3a Y-haplogroup. The analysis of mitochondrial haplotypes and Y chromosome, although they did not match other populations, revealed a relationship between the Chiriguano and other groups of Guaraní and Arawak origin inhabiting Brazil and Bolivia, confirming, at least in part, the historical records describing the origins of Chiriguano tribal settlements in northwestern Argentina.

Keywords: Chiriguano; Native American-admixture; Population genetics.

MeSH terms

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genetics, Population / methods*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Indians, South American / genetics*
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Genetic Markers