Human genetic differentiation across the Strait of Gibraltar.

  • publication
  • 05-08-2010

Currat M, Poloni ES, Sanchez-Mazas A. BMC Evol. Biol. 2010 ;10():237. 1471-2148-10-237. 10.1186/1471-2148-10-237. PMC3020631.

The Strait of Gibraltar is a crucial area in the settlement history of modern humans because it represents a possible connection between Africa and Europe. So far, genetic data were inconclusive about the fact that this strait constitutes a barrier to gene flow, as previous results were highly variable depending on the genetic locus studied. The present study evaluates the impact of the Gibraltar region in reducing gene flow between populations from North-Western Africa and South-Western Europe, by comparing formally various genetic loci. First, we compute several statistics of population differentiation. Then, we use an original simulation approach in order to infer the most probable evolutionary scenario for the settlement of the area, taking into account the effects of both demography and natural selection at some loci.

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