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Author(s): Harich, N
Costa, MD
Fernandes, V
Kandil, M
Pereira, JB
Silva, NM
Pereira, L
Title: The trans-Saharan slave trade – clues from interpolation analyses and high-resolution characterization of mitochondrial DNA lineages
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A proportion of 1/4 to 1/2 of North African female pool is made of typical sub-Saharan lineages, in higher frequencies as geographic proximity to sub-Saharan Africa increases. The Sahara was a strong geographical barrier against gene flow, at least since 5,000 years ago, when desertification affected a larger region, but the Arab trans-Saharan slave trade could have facilitate enormously this migration of lineages. Till now, the genetic consequences of these forced trans-Saharan movements of people have not been ascertained. RESULTS: The distribution of the main L haplogroups in North Africa clearly reflects the known trans-Saharan slave routes: West is dominated by L1b, L2b, L2c, L2d, L3b and L3d; the Center by L3e and some L3f and L3w; the East by L0a, L3h, L3i, L3x and, in common with the Center, L3f and L3w; while, L2a is almost everywhere. Ages for the haplogroups observed in both sides of the Saharan desert testify the recent origin (holocenic) of these haplogroups in sub-Saharan Africa, claiming a recent introduction in North Africa, further strengthened by the no detection of local expansions. CONCLUSIONS: The interpolation analyses and complete sequencing of present mtDNA sub-Saharan lineages observed in North Africa support the genetic impact of recent trans-Saharan migrations, namely the slave trade initiated by the Arab conquest of North Africa in the seventh century. Sub-Saharan people did not leave traces in the North African maternal gene pool for the time of its settlement, some 40,000 years ago.
Subject: Africa South of the Sahara
DNA Mitochondrial/genetics
Desert Climate
Genetics, Population
Molecular Sequence Data
Social Problems
Source: BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 10:138
Related Information: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/5876-PPCDTI/66275/PT
Document Type: Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I3S - Artigo em Revista Científica Internacional

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