Unraveling Signatures of Local Adaptation among Indigenous Groups from Mexico

Humberto García-Ortiz, Francisco Barajas-Olmos, Cecilia Contreras-Cubas, Austin W. Reynolds, Marlen Flores-Huacuja, Meradeth Snow, Jazmín Ramos-Madrigal, Elvia Mendoza-Caamal, Paulina Baca, Tomás A. López-Escobar, Deborah A. Bolnick, Silvia Esperanza Flores-Martínez, Rocio Ortiz-Lopez, Aleksandar David Kostic, José Rafael Villafan-Bernal, Carlos Galaviz-Hernández, Federico Centeno-Cruz, Alejandra Guadalupe García-Zapién, Tulia Monge-Cázares, Blanca Patricia Lazalde-RamosFrancisco Loeza-Becerra, María del Carmen Abrahantes-Pérez, Héctor Rangel-Villalobos, Martha Sosa-Macías, Augusto Rojas-Martínez, Angélica Martínez-Hernández, Lorena Orozco

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Few studies have addressed how selective pressures have shaped the genetic structure of the current Native American populations, and they have mostly limited their inferences to admixed Latin American populations. Here, we searched for local adaptation signals, based on integrated haplotype scores and population branch statistics, in 325 Mexican Indigenous individuals with at least 99% Native American ancestry from five previously defined geographical regions. Although each region exhibited its own local adaptation profile, only PPARG and AJAP1, both negative regulators of the Wnt/β catenin signaling pathway, showed significant adaptation signals in all the tested regions. Several signals were found, mainly in the genes related to the metabolic processes and immune response. A pathway enrichment analysis revealed the overrepresentation of selected genes related to several biological phenotypes/conditions, such as the immune response and metabolic pathways, in agreement with previous studies, suggesting that immunological and metabolic pressures are major drivers of human adaptation. Genes related to the gut microbiome measurements were overrepresented in all the regions, highlighting the importance of studying how humans have coevolved with the microbial communities that colonize them. Our results provide a further explanation of the human evolutionary history in response to environmental pressures in this region.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2251
    Issue number12
    StatePublished - Dec 2022


    • AJAP1
    • Native American populations
    • PPARG
    • gut microbiome
    • local adaptation


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