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      Ancient mtDNA analysis and the origin of the Guanches.

      European Journal of Human Genetics

      Spain, Base Sequence, Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Humans, Haplotypes, genetics, DNA, Mitochondrial, DNA Primers, Cloning, Molecular

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          Abstract

          The prehistoric colonisation of the Canary Islands by the Guanches (native Canarians) woke up great expectation about their origin, since the Europeans conquest of the Archipelago. Here, we report mitochondrial DNA analysis (HVRI sequences and RFLPs) of aborigine remains around 1000 years old. The sequences retrieved show that the Guanches possessed U6b1 lineages that are in the present day Canarian population, but not in Africans. In turn, U6b, the phylogenetically closest ancestor found in Africa, is not present in the Canary Islands. Comparisons with other populations relate the Guanches with the actual inhabitants of the Archipelago and with Moroccan Berbers. This shows that, despite the continuous changes suffered by the population (Spanish colonisation, slave trade), aboriginal mtDNA lineages constitute a considerable proportion of the Canarian gene pool. Although the Berbers are the most probable ancestors of the Guanches, it is deduced that important human movements have reshaped Northwest Africa after the migratory wave to the Canary Islands.

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          Journal
          14508507
          10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201075

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