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, 44 (1), 228-39

Y Chromosome Genetic Variation in the Italian Peninsula Is Clinal and Supports an Admixture Model for the Mesolithic-Neolithic Encounter

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Y Chromosome Genetic Variation in the Italian Peninsula Is Clinal and Supports an Admixture Model for the Mesolithic-Neolithic Encounter

Cristian Capelli et al. Mol Phylogenet Evol.

Abstract

The Italian peninsula, given its geographical location in the middle of the Mediterranean basin, was involved in the process of the peopling of Europe since the very beginning, with first settlements dating to the Upper Paleolithic. Later on, the Neolithic revolution left clear evidence in the archeological record, with findings going back to 7000 B.C. We have investigated the demographic consequences of the agriculture revolution in this area by genotyping Y chromosome markers for almost 700 individuals from 12 different regions. Data analysis showed a non-random distribution of the observed genetic variation, with more than 70% of the Y chromosome diversity distributed along a North-South axis. While the Greek colonisation during classical time appears to have left no significant contribution, the results support a male demic diffusion model, even if population replacement was not complete and the degree of Neolithic admixture with Mesolithic inhabitants was different in different areas of Italy.

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