Charting the Development of Human Populations in the North and South of the Mediterranean Region

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Mediterranean is the birthplace of ancient peoples and cultures, but has it acted as a bridge or a barrier in the genetic history of northern and southern populations? Gene flow and population structure on the north and south shores of the Mediterranean form the basis of the work published recently by the Human Population Genetics research group, directed by Pedro Moral of the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona.

The research, published in two separate articles in BMC Evolutionary Biology and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, covers one of the widest geographical areas and most diverse population samples studied to date in the Mediterranean region and reveals differences in the genetic structure of the populations inhabiting the north and south shores.

Reconstructing the shared history of the shores of the Mare Nostrum and the gene flow between populations in the Mediterranean region is also the focus of the second article, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The study, which focuses on a larger sample from a wider geographical area, analyzes the genetic footprint of different populations through the study of genetic markers corresponding to different mutations (Alu, STR and Alu/STR combinations) in a sample of 1,831 individuals from Mediterranean countries (Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt) and other countries used as reference populations (Germany and Ivory Coast).

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