Analysis of 21 X-chromosome polymorphisms in urban and rural populations in Salta province (north-western Argentina)


Population genetic data for 21 X-chromosome markers (Alu insertions and STRs) are reported for two populations (rural and urban) in Salta province (north-western Argentina). New variants are described, confirming the complexity and variability of some markers in this set. Results reveal Salta populations harbor a high Native American component, despite their self-recognized European ancestry. Notwithstanding the high genetic similarity of both populations, the rural sample seems to have maintained a larger Amerindian legacy. Data further show these X-linked markers, especially STRs, are highly informative in Salta populations and, therefore, can contribute to the development of a local database for forensic purposes in north-western Argentina.

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We are grateful to Maria Trinidad Garcia (from the Serveis Cientificotècnics of the Universitat de les Illes Balears) for her assistance and help with capillary electrophoresis procedures and Meryl Wyn Jones for the English language corrections. We would also like to sincerely thank all the people who volunteered to participate in this study.


This work was partially supported by grant AAEE196/2005 from the Direcció General de R + D + I (Comunitat Autònoma de les Illes Balears) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to J. F. Ferragut.

Ethics declarations

All participants provided written informed consent statements, approved by The Argentine Ministry of Health, the review boards at National University of Salta (Argentina) (PICTO-UNSa N° 36656) and the Direcció General de R + D + I (Government of Balearic Islands, Spain) (procedure AAEE196/2005). The anonymity of the recruited samples was preserved during the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Electronic supplementary material


Supplementary Figure 1: Geographic map of Salta province showing the location of the capital (Salta) and the main localities of the Calchaqui Valleys (Cachi and Cafayate). Supplementary Figure 2: Ya5NBC491 marker. Agarose gel electrophoretic results showing a homozygote (line 3) and a heterozygote (line 4) individual for the poly (A) insertion. Supplementary Figure 3: Multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS) based on FST genetic distances calculated for 12 X-STRs and 8 X-Alus. Studied populations are represented by stars, Amerindian populations by circular dots; Latin American populations by white circular points; African populations by square dots; European populations by triangles; and other populations are labeled with white square points. (PDF 292 kb)


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Ferragut, J.F., Bassitta, M., Torrens, V. et al. Analysis of 21 X-chromosome polymorphisms in urban and rural populations in Salta province (north-western Argentina). Int J Legal Med 133, 1043–1047 (2019).

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  • X-chromosome
  • Alu insertions
  • X-STR
  • Calchaqui Valleys
  • Salta
  • North-western Argentina (NWA)
  • Investigator Argus X-12 kit