Document Type



We compared data from individuals living in 4 African Venezuelan and 4 African Brazilian communities for 11 protein loci (551 subjects) and 8 hypervariable tandem repeat polymorphisms (252 subjects). There is heterogeneity in diversity within and between the two sets of loci. On the other hand, African-derived Brazilians and Venezuelans do not present marked variability differences between themselves. Although the hypervariable loci show gene diversities that are about four times higher than those obtained from the protein data, they are not more discriminative at the interpopulation level (averages 6% and 4%, respectively). Interpopulation differences do not strictly parallel the geographic distances between the groups, and population relationships obtained from the protein data are not the same as those indicated by hypervariable tandem repeat polymorphisms. Caution is needed in establishing relationships considering just one level of the biological hierarchy.