Y-chromosome and mtDNA polymorphisms in Iraq, a crossroad of the early human dispersal and of post-Neolithic migrations

  • Al-Zahery N
  • Semino O
  • Benuzzi G
 et al. 
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Abstract

Analyses of mtDNA and Y-chromosome variation were performed in a sample of Iraqis, a scarcely investigated population of the "Fertile Crescent." A total of 216 mtDNAs were screened for the diagnostic RFLP markers of the main Eurasian and African haplogroups. A subset of these samples, whose HVS-I sequences were previously obtained, was also examined by high-resolution restriction analysis. The Y-chromosome variation was investigated in 139 subjects by using 17 biallelic markers and the 49a,f/Taq I system. For both uniparental systems, the large majority of the haplogroups observed in the Iraqi population are those (H, J, T, and U for the mtDNA, and J(xM172) and J-M172 for the Y chromosome) considered to have originated in the Middle East and to have later spread all over Western Eurasia. However, about 9% of the mtDNAs and 30% of the Y-chromosomes most likely represent arrivals from distant geographic regions. The different proportion of long-range genetic input observed for the mtDNA and the Y chromosome appears to indicate that events of gene flow to this area might have involved mainly males rather than females. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

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