Population structure in the Mediterranean basin: a Y chromosome perspective

Ann Hum Genet. 2006 Mar;70(Pt 2):207-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2005.00224.x.


The Mediterranean region has been characterised by a number of pre-historical and historical demographic events whose legacy on the current genetic landscape is still a matter of debate. In order to investigate the degree of population structure across the Mediterranean, we have investigated Y chromosome variation in a large dataset of Mediterranean populations, 11 of which are first described here. Our analyses identify four main clusters in the Mediterranean that can be labelled as North Africa, Arab, Central-East and West Mediterranean. In particular, Near Eastern samples tend to separate according to the presence of Arab Y chromosome lineages, suggesting that the Arab expansion played a major role in shaping the current genetic structuring within the Fertile Crescent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Human, Y*
  • Ethnicity
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mediterranean Region