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Completing the genetic landscape of North Africa: genomic characterization of Berber peoples

AuthorsArauna, Laura R.; Mendizabal, Isabel ; Izaabel, Hassan; Bekada, Asmahan; Benhamamouch, Soraya; Fadhlaoui-Zid, Karima; Zalloua, Pierre; Comas, David
Issue DateJul-2013
CitationXIII Jornada de Biologia Evolutiva (2013)
AbstractNorth Africa shows a huge cultural and genetic diversity, marked by the Arabic expansion from Near East 1,400 years ago (ya), and its coexistence with local Berber cultures. The Berbers are considered the autochthonous populations from North Africa, who enclose around 35 million individuals dispersed throughout the Maghreb (mainly in Morocco and Algeria). Recently, the genome-wide structure of North African populations has been described, highlighting an amalgam of autochthonous, Near Eastern, European and Sub-Saharan ancestries. The indigenous North African genetic ancestry was estimated to be derived from “back to Africa” dated more than 12,000 ya, and suggested to be in highest frequency in Berber populations. However, the lack of Berber populations genotyped in the current datasets has driven this project, which aims to complete the human genetic landscape of North Africa. In the present study, we generated genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data (a total of ~900,000 SNPs) from 68 individuals from 4 different Berber groups sampled in 3 North African countries (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria). By putting these populations in the context of neighboring groups, we reveal a high heterogeneity in the histories of the Berber people. The complexity of their genetic ancestry includes variable gene flow from Middle East and Sub-Saharan African groups, as well as diverse endogamy levels among the Berbers. This study will bring light to the origin of Berbers and their admixture with other populations.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en la XIII Jornada de Biologia Evolutiva, celebrada en Barcelona el 2 de julio de 2013.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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