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Native American Research

Genetic research on Native Americans undertaken at the Molecular Anthropology Laboratory

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Research Objective

  • To gain an understanding of Native American biological origins and population history through the study of ancient and modern DNA.
  • Identify the distribution of Native American mtDNA markers Haplogroups A, B, C, D, and X in North America, find tribal specific markers among Native American groups and learn more about possible migration routes during the peopling of North America and population movements after the initial peopling.
  • Analyze the relationships within the Southwest utilizing ancient DNA.  Focus on the possible connections between the Southwest and Mexico.

Recent Publications

Kaestle, F.A. and D.G. Smith. 2005. Working with ancient DNA: NAGPRA, Kennewick Man and other ancient peoples. Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity. Ed. T. Turner. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 2005. 241-262.

Kemp, B.M., A. Resendes, J. Berrelleza, R.S. Malhi and D.G. Smith. An analysis of ancient Aztec mtDNA from Tlatelolco: Pre-Columbian relations and the spread of the Uto-Aztecan. Biomolecular Archaeology: Genetic Approaches to the Past. Ed. D.M. Reed. Carbondale, Illinois: Center for Archaeological Investigation, Southern Illinois University. 2005. 22-46.

Kemp, B.M. and D.G. Smith. Use of bleach to eliminate contaiminating DNA from the surface of bones and teeth.  Forensic Science International 154 (2005): 53-61.

Smith, D.G., R.S. Malhi, J.A. Eshleman, F.A. Kaestle. Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups of the anicent ones: evidence for regional continuity in the New World. Paleoamerican Origins: Beyond Clovis.  Ed. R. Bonnichsen. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. 2006. 243-254.

Schroeder, K.B., R.S. Malhi, D.G. Smith. Opinion: Demystifying Native American Opposition to Genetic Research. Evolutionary Anthropology 15(2006): 88-92.

Bolnick, D.A., D.I. Bolnick, D.G. Smith. Assymetric male and female genetic histories among Native Americans from eastern North America. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23(2006): 2161-2174.

Kemp, B.M., C. Monroe, D.G. Smith. Repeat silica extraction: a simple technique for the removal of PCR inhibitors from DNA extracts. Journal of Archaeological Science 33(2006): 1680-1689.

Malhi, R.S., B.M. Kemp, J. Eshleman, J. Cybulski, D.G. Smith, S. Cousins and H. Harry. Haplogroup M discovered in prehistoric North America.  Journal of Archaeological Science 34(2007): 642-648.

Schroeder, K.B., T.G. Schurr, J.C. Long, N.A. Rosenberg, M.H. Crawford, L.A. Tarskaia, L.P. Osopova, S. Zhadanov, D.G. Smith. Private allele ubiquitous in the Americas.  Biology Letters 3(2007): 218-223.

Kemp, B.M., R.S. Malhi, J. McDonough, D.A. Boknick, J.A. Eshleman, O. Richards, C. Martinez-Labarga, J.R. Johnson, J.G. Lorenz, E. James Dixon, T.E. Fifield, T.H. Heaton, R. Worl, D.G. Smith. Genetic analysis of early Holocene skeletal remains from Alaska and its implications for the peopling of the Americas.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132(2007): 605-621.

Bolnick, D.A. and D.G. Smith. Migration and social structure among the Hopewell: evidence from ancient DNA. American Antiquity 72(2007): 627-644.

Shook, B.A. and D.G. Smith. Using ancient mtDNA to reconstruct the population history of Northeastern North America.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 137(2008): 14-29.

Malhi, R.S., A. Gonzalez-Oliver, K. Schroeder, B. Kemp, J. Greenberg, S. Dobrowski, D.G. Smith, A. Resendez, T. Karafet, M. Hammer, S. Zegura, T. Brovko. Distribution of Y-chromosomes among Native North Americans: a study of Athapaskan population history.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 137(2008): 412-424.

Schroeder, K.B., M. Jakobsson, T.G. Schurr, M.H. Crawford, D.F. Conrad, R.S. Malhi, R. Titotaddeo, L.P. Osipova, l.A. Tarskaia, S.I. Zhadanov, J.D. Wall, J.K. Pritchard, D.G. Smith, N.A. Rosenberg. Haplotypic background of a private allele at high frequency in the Americas.  Molecular Biology and Evolution 26(2009): 995-1016.