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Hum Genet. 2010 Apr;127(4):455-8. doi: 10.1007/s00439-010-0798-3. Epub 2010 Feb 16.

A genome-wide survey does not show the genetic distinctiveness of Basques.

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  • 1IBE, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF-CSIC), CEXS-UPF-PRBB, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. hafid.laayouni@upf.edu

Abstract

Basques are a cultural isolate, and, according to mainly allele frequencies of classical polymorphisms, also a genetic isolate. We investigated the differentiation of Spanish Basques from the rest of Iberian populations by means of a dense, genome-wide SNP array. We found that F (ST) distances between Spanish Basques and other populations were similar to those between pairs of non-Basque populations. The same result is found in a PCA of individuals, showing a general distinction between Iberians and other South Europeans independently of being Basques. Pathogen-mediated natural selection may be responsible for the high differentiation previously reported for Basques at very specific genes such as ABO, RH, and HLA. Thus, Basques cannot be considered a genetic outlier under a general genome scope and interpretations on their origin may have to be revised.

PMID:
20157828
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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