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.