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Do dental nonmetric traits actually work as proxies for neutral genomic data? Some answers from continental- and global-level analyses

Irish, JD, Morez, A, Girdland Flink, EL, Phillips, E and Scott, GR (2020) Do dental nonmetric traits actually work as proxies for neutral genomic data? Some answers from continental- and global-level analyses. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. ISSN 0002-9483

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Open Access URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/a... (Published version)

Abstract

Objectives: Crown and root traits, like those in the Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System (ASUDAS), are seemingly useful as genetic proxies. However, recent studies report mixed results concerning their heritability, and ability to assess variation to the level of genomic data. The aim is to test further if such traits can approximate genetic relatedness, among continental and global samples. Materials and Methods: First, for 12 African populations, Mantel correlations were calculated between mean measure of divergence (MMD) distances from up to 36 ASUDAS traits, and FST distances from >350,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among matched dental and genetic samples. Second, among 32 global samples, MMD and FST distances were again compared. Correlations were also calculated between them and inter-sample geographic distances to further evaluate correspondence. Results: A close ASUDAS/SNP association, based on MMD and FST correlations, is evident, with rm-values between .72 globally and .84 in Africa. The same is true concerning their association with geographic distances, from .68 for a 36-trait African MMD to .77 for FST globally; one exception is FST and African geographic distances, rm = 0.49. Partial MMD/FST correlations controlling for geographic distances are strong for Africa (.78) and moderate globally (.4). Discussion: Relative to prior studies, MMD/FST correlations imply greater dental and genetic correspondence; for studies allowing direct comparison, the present correlations are markedly stronger. The implication is that ASUDAS traits are reliable proxies for genetic data—a positive conclusion, meaning they can be used with or instead of genomic markers when the latter are unavailable.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0603 Evolutionary Biology, 1601 Anthropology, 2101 Archaeology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:43
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2020 09:45
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/ajpa.24052
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12635

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