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Blood groups and ageusia in Indians of Montana and Alberta.

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BLOOD GROUPS AND AGEUSIA I N INDIANS O F
MONTANA AND ALBERTA
Q. ALBIN MATSON
Department of Zoology and Baderidogy, Montanu Stote University
When L. and H. Hirschfeld ('19) published their observations on the distribution of the four blood groups (0,A, B, and
AB) among sixteen different peoples on the Macedonian battle
front, it became evident that the distribution of these hereditary characters varies in different races and peoples. Similar
studies have been made by others among many peoples, so
that now the literature that has accumulated is indeed large.
The extremely high incidence of group 0 (66.1% (Landsteiner and Levine, '29) to 99.1% (Rife, '32)) among putatively full-blood American Indians has attracted the interest
of anthropologists and serologists. This high incidence of 0
has been interpreted to mean that man originally belonged
to group 0 and that the A and B isoantigens, which he lacked,
appeared later in certain regions. It was suggested (Coca
and Deibert, '23) that the American Indian became separated
from the rest of humanity at an early time before the A
and B isoantigens had developed in the race, and that their
occurrence among Indians of today is a result of cross breeding with other races.
That this hypothesis may not be valid is evident from Landsteiner and Miller's ('25) observations of A and B isoantigens
among anthropoids, suggesting the appearance of these characters early in the phylogeny of man, and also from our own
recent findings (Matson, '33; Matson and Schrader, '33),
among the 'Blackfeet' and 'Blood' tribes of Indians in
This work was partly supported by a grant from the American Association for
the Advancement of Science.
81
. + Y L R I O A N JOURNAL OF P H Y S I C A L AITRPOPOLOQY, VOL. X X W . NO. 1
JULY-SEPTLYBBR, 1938
82
Q. ALBIN MATSON
Montana and Alberta. Among these Indians, group A has
been found to predominate to the same extent as does group 0
among other Indians. These findings suggest that on the same
basis as other tribes have been thought to originate from
pure 0 stock, these Indians may be assumed to represent an
originally pure A stock; and that when 0 or B appears it is
indicative of crossing with other tribes of Indians, the white
man, or the Negro. Either this, or one is driven to the less
likely alternative, that the A isoantigen is a local mutant
in these Indians.
Subsequent work (Levine, Matson and Schrader, '35 ;
Matson, Levine and Schrader, '36) among the Blackfeet has
not only confirmed our original observations, but has shown
also that of the putative full-bloods who belong to group A,
practically 100% are A,. This is unusually high and agrees
with the observations of Nigg ( '30) among native Hawaiians
(of 237 group A, 100% were A,) in which people there occurs
also a high percentage of group A (60.8%).
The surprising observation among the Blackfeet and the
related Blood tribe of Indians raised the question as to the
distribution of the blood groups among Indians on reservations contiguous to the Blackfeet on the north as well as on
the south. The following is a report of observations on the
four blood groups made among various tribes of Indians on
neighboring reservations both in Montana and in Alberta,
Canada. At the same time tests were made to observe the
incidence of another hereditary factor among these Indians,
namely, the taste reaction to a chemical substance p-ethoxyphenyl-thio-urea. This substance is a member of the carbamide series of compounds which has been shown by Fox ( '32)
to taste intensely bitter to some individuals whereas to others
it has no taste at all. Subsequent studies by Blakeslee et al.
('31, '32) and by Snyder ( '32) revealed the hereditary nature
of this taste reaction. By studying the incidence of 'tasters'
and 'non-tasters' in families, these workers concluded that
the taste deficiency is inherited as a simple mendelian recessive character so that where neither parent tastes the compound none of the children does.
BLOOD G R O U P S A N D AGEUSIA OF I N D I A N S
83
Furthermore, it has been observed that the distribution of
tasters and non-tasters varies among different races. Thus,
Levine and Anderson ('32) tested 183 putatively full-blood
Indians, at Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas, and reported
93.975 of the Haskell full-blood Indians to be bitter-tasters
whereas of 110 known mixed-bloods only 87% were bittertasters. These workers found, therefore, that in Indians with
white admixture the reaction began to approach that found
among American whites.
EXPERIMENTAL
Samples of blood were collected by pricking the ear or
finger and allowing drops of blood to fall into vials containing
sterile Rous solution. These specimens were then examined
for the presence of A and B isoantigens with the aid of
homologous A and B sera.
Specimens were obtained from some tribes that are known
to be related to the Blackfeet and from others that are not.
Among the group known to be related are the Bloods at
Cardston, Alberta, the Piegans at Brocket Alberta, and the
Northern Blackfeet at Gleichen, Alberta. The second group
consists of Flatheads in Montana, the Stony tribe at Morley,
Alberta, the Cree at Edmonton, Alberta and an insignificant
number of specimens from the small Sarcee tribe at Calgary,
Alberta.
For comparison, specimens from 691 known mixed-bloods
of the Flathead tribe and 291 Montana whites were examined
with the same sera.
The tests for the taste reaction were done at the time the
bloods were taken, by placing with an applicator a few crystals
of p-ethoxy-phenyl-thio-urea on the tongue of the subject and
recording the reaction after time enough to taste the substance had elapsed.
TABLE 1
Montana Blackfeet
(previous study)
(Levine, Mataon and
Schrader, '35)
Montana Blackfeet
(previous study)
(Mateon, Levine and
Wrsder, '36)
TO1B.l
_-
I
79.07
83.74 I
80.95
20.20 I 544
0
80.00 I
84
19.05
20
139
0
83.3
20
16.70
4
1
0
I 0.0
5
1
1
O
o
i
I
i
0.591
0*498
0.73
i 0.543
0*553
, 0.81 0.597
iI--- 0.0 10.563
0.95
0.0
0.97
O
0
0
O
p+q+r
0.393
0.553
0.409
0.493
0.463
0.485
--
r
or
mm
0.990
1.006
1.000
0.991
0.989
1.000
0
1.026
0.563
o -___
-
iI
I
!
i
1
I
i
O
0 . 5 ~ ~o
I
I
1.1
i
Oe5I5
IVY
DNB
IWOICS
__
OCND rPrqUrWmrr
!
0.0
Oe0
0.0
0.0
j
o.o
I
o
0.0
I
l
O.O
?er cent
'er cent Number
-I-AB
; 0.0
!
B
i o I
0
I
I
74.76
77
24.27
25
103
0
78.40
138
76.50
20.50
88
36
23.50
er cent hmbar 'er cent lumber
__ -
A
176
27
lumber
0
Dwtributbn of blood group8 among putatively full-blood Indians or ths Blackfeet and related tribes
+
E
0
2
rn
Eel
P
F
0
BLOOD GROUPS A N D AOEUSIA OF INDIANS
I
m
o
o
0
I
B
8
$:
2
m
86
0. ALBIN MATSON
RESULTS
The results of the blood tests are shown in tables 1 and 2.
Included also in these tables are the results of previous
observations of the blood-group distribution among the Blackfeet.
The results shown in table 1are in complete agreement with
the earlier findings (Matson and Schrader, '33) among the
Blackfeet tribes, a high incidence of A being noted in each case.
The putatively full-blood Flatheads, Crees and Stonys on
the other hand are largely group 0 (table 2). Of 691 known
mixed-bloods, however, 53.83% belong to group 0, 39.50%
TABLE 8
Dietribution of tosters and M m t a t a r a among Bhokfeet and other tribes of
Indiana in Montana and Alberta
Pure Blackfeet (Gleichen)
Pure Piegans (Brocket)
Pure Stony (Morley)
Pure Flatheads
Pure Sareee
Pure Cree
Flatheads (Gwnmixed
bloods)
White (Xontana)
I
I
Number
Perwnt
129
43
49
30
15
74
118
40
47
27
14
68
91.47
93.00
96.00
90.00
442
375
82.57
67
17.43
188
64.60
103
35.40
291
Number
11
3
2
6
Perwnt
8.53
7.00
4.00
10.00
1
92.00
6
~
8.00
to A, 4.77% to B, and 1.90% to AB. Obviously crossing with
the whites has modified the distribution of the blood groups
so that in mixed-bloods the admixture with white appears to
be so intense that the incidence approaches that found
among whites.
The observations made on the frequency of ageusia to pethoxy-phenyl-thio-urea in these Indians are shown in table 3.
This table shows that the incidence of tasters and nontasters distinctly approximates the figure previously found by
Levine and Anderson ('32) among the Kansas Indians, and
of our (Levine, Matson and Schrader, '35) earlier findings
-
-
BLOOD G R O U P S A N D AGEUSIA OF I S D I A N S
87
among the Blackfeet. Among all of these Indians 90% or
more of the full-bloods and 82.57% of known mixed-bloods
could taste the substance, while only 64.6% of the Montana
whites were tasters. All full-bloods with one exception noted
a bitter taste. This one exceptional individual experienced
a sensation of sweetness. Of 375 mixed-bloods, 370 reported
a bitter taste. The remaining five tasted sweet. Among the
Montana whites, 183 tasted bitter, four salty and one sweet.
The unusually high incidence of tasters among Indians is
noteworthy as is also the fact that here, as with the blood
groups, racial crossing is seen to modify the incidence of this
hereditary character.
SUMMABY AND CONULUSIONS
It appears that the full-blood Northern Blackfeet, Blood,
and Piegan tribes of Indians in Canada have essentially the
same blood-group distribution as does the related Blackfeet
tribe in Montana. Although the Flathead, Cree, Sarcee and
Stony Indians reside on reservations in close proximity to the
Blackfeet reservations, these Indians differ markedly from
the Blackfeet and related tribes in the distribution of the
four Landsteiner blood groups. Whereas the full-blood Blackfeet are predominantly group A, these other tribes resemble
most other Indians that have been examined in that they
belong predominantly to group 0.
In the taste reactions to p-ethoxy-phenyl-thio-urea as with
the incidence of M and N factors there appears to be no appreciable difference among Indian tribes thus f a r examined.
These observations were found to approximate our previous
findings (Levine, Matson and Schrader, '35 ; Matson, Levine
and Schrader, '36) among the Blackfeet tribe as well as the reactions observed by Levine and Anderson ( '32) among Kansas
Indians, namely, a high incidence of tasters (90% or more).
I t is evident, therefore, that the Flathead, Cree, Sarcee and
Stony Indians differ radically from the Blackfeet and related
tribes with respect to the distribution of the four blood groups,
88
Q. ALBIN MATSON
but they resemble the Blackfeet and all other Indians examined in North America with respect to the incidence of
tasters and non-tasters among them.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to : Mr. L.
W.Shotwell, Superintendent, of the Flathead Indian Reservation; Mr. Marion A. Branson, Educational Field Agent, Flathead Reservation ; Mr. Stone, superintendent, Blackfeet
Agency, Browning, Montana; Dr. H. F. Schrader, Blackfeet
Agency, Browning, Montana ; Mr. J. E. Pugh, superintendent,
Blood Reserve, Cardston, Alberta; Drs. L. M. Mullen and J. K.
Mulloy, Blood Reserve ;Rev. Canon, S. H. Niddleton, principal,
St. Paul’s Residential School, Cardston, Alberta; Mr. H. C.
Lancaster, superintendent, Piegan Reserve, Brocket, Alberta ;
Dr. Evelyn Windsor, Gleichen, Alberta; Dr. G. A. Dubuc,
Pinoher Creek, Alberta ; Dr. W. B. Murray, superintendent,
Stony Agency, Morley, Alberta ; Dr. T. Murray, superintendent
Sarcee Agency, Calgary, Alberta; Rev. J. F. Woodsworth,
principal, Indian Residential School, Edmonton, Alberta;
Dr. Harold W. McGill, deputy superintendent general, Department of Indian Affairs, Ottawa, Ont. ; all of whom assisted
in various ways in obtaining blood specimens.
LITERATURE CITED
BLAKESLZZ,
A. F. 1932 .Qeneties of renrory thresholds: taste for phenyl-thio
carbamide. Proc. Nat. A a d . 8&, XVIII, 120.
BUKEBLLI,A. F., A N D A. L. Fox 1932 Our different taste worlds. J. Heredity,
XXIIT, 97.
B U K E E L ~A, F., AND M. R. BALMON 1931 Odor and hate blindness. Eugen.
News, XVI, 105.
C ~ C AA., F., AND OLnr D Z I B ~ T1923 A study of the occurrence of the blood
g r o u p among the American Indians. J. Immunol., VIII, 487.
Fox, AllTWr L. 1932 The relationship between chemical conititution and tade.
Proc. Nat. Aead. Ed., XVIII, 115.
HIREOEFZLD,
L., AND H. H I P B C K 1919
~
Eerological differences between the
blood of different racer. Lancet, 11, 675.
hmrrnrrq K., AND P. LIVINX 1929 On the racial distribution of rome
agglutinable atructnrw of human blood. J. Immunol, XVI, 123.
LANDSTEIN-K,,AND C. P. MILL^; JE. 1925 Ekrological rtndies on the blood
of primater I, 11, I11 m d IV. J. Exp. Med., XLII, 641, 853, 863;
Science, XLI, 492.
BLOOD GROUPS AND AOEUSIA OF INDIANS
89
LGVINE,
P.,AND A. S. ANDLBSON1932 Observations on taste blindness. Seienee,
LXXV, 497.
Lmm, P.,GI. A. MATSON AND H. F. SCEMD~ 1935 Distribution of blood
groups and agglutinogen hi among Indian ‘Blackfeet’ and ‘Blood
Tribes.’ Proc. 9oe. Exp. Biol. Med., XXXZII, 297.
MATSON, 0. A. 1933 Unexpected differenem in distribution of blood groups
among American Indiann. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., XXX, 1380.
MATSON,G.A., AND H. F. S U E U D ~1933 Blood grouping among the ‘Blackfeet’
and ‘ Blood ”riibea’ of American Indians. J. Immunol., XXV, 155.
Distribution
of the subMATSON,G. A., P. LEVINEAND H. F. I ~ C H1936
BA
D~
groups of A and the M and N agglutinogens among the Blackfeet
Indians. Proc Soc. Erp. Med., XXXV, 46.
Nroo, CUEA 1930 A study of the blood group distribution among Polynesians.
J. Immunol., XIX, 93.
RIFE,D. W. 1932 Blood groups of Indians in certain Maya areas of Central
America. J. Immunol., XXII, 207.
S N Y DL.
~ ,F. 1932 The inheritance of taste deficiency in man. Ohio J. Science,
XXXII, 436.
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