Document Type



We examined biological affinities between the migrant groups of fishermen in Puri and their parental counterparts using 3 sets of variables: genetic markers, anthropometric measurements, and quantitative dermatoglyphics. Results of both univariate and multivariate analyses suggest a significant migration effect, diversifying migrants from their parental populations, although the distance configurations based on each set of variables resemble each other. The migration effect is particularly remarkable for the anthropometric measurements. The plot of group centroids based on the discriminant analysis of the 7 populations depicts a clear segregation of migrants from the parental populations. Because of relatively large effective population sizes and short history of these populations in Puri, the role of genetic drift can be safely ruled out. However, a founder effect is a plausible reason for the observed differentiation of the migrants from their parental groups, especially given that certain rare variants that were not observed in the parental populations appear in the migrants. That the founders were a select group of fishermen with respect to body dimensions, not a random group, can be inferred from the occupational differences among the migrant groups, which in turn suggests phenotypic plasticity in the observed differentiation. Regression of mean phenotypic variance and heterozygosity on the distance from the centroid suggests a strong possibility of external gene flow into the migrant populations in Puri.