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A predominantly neolithic origin for Y-chromosomal DNA variation in North Africa

Arredi, Barbara
Paracchini, Silvia
Zerjal, Tatiana
Fathallah, Dahmani M.
Makrelouf, Mohamed
Pascali, Vincenzo L.
Novelletto, Andrea
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Published in American Journal of Human Genetics. 2004, vol. 75, no. 2, p. 338-345
Abstract We have typed 275 men from five populations in Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt with a set of 119 binary markers and 15 microsatellites from the Y chromosome, and we have analyzed the results together with published data from Moroccan populations. North African Y-chromosomal diversity is geographically structured and fits the pattern expected under an isolation-by-distance model. Autocorrelation analyses reveal an east-west cline of genetic variation that extends into the Middle East and is compatible with a hypothesis of demic expansion. This expansion must have involved relatively small numbers of Y chromosomes to account for the reduction in gene diversity towards the West that accompanied the frequency increase of Y haplogroup E3b2, but gene flow must have been maintained to explain the observed pattern of isolation-by-distance. Since the estimates of the times to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCAs) of the most common haplogroups are quite recent, we suggest that the North African pattern of Y-chromosomal variation is largely of Neolithic origin. Thus, we propose that the Neolithic transition in this part of the world was accompanied by demic diffusion of Afro-Asiatic-speaking pastoralists from the Middle East.
Keywords Northern AfricaHuman ChromosomesMolecular EvolutionGenetic VariationHumansMalePhylogeny
PMID: 15202071
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Research group Unité d’anthropologie
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ARREDI, Barbara et al. A predominantly neolithic origin for Y-chromosomal DNA variation in North Africa. In: American Journal of Human Genetics, 2004, vol. 75, n° 2, p. 338-345. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:2129

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Deposited on : 2009-06-22

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