Review on the genetic history of Algerians within North African populations from the HLA point of view
This article aims to take stock of knowledge on the history of the human settlement of North Africa and the genetic history of Algerians within North African populations by gathering the most important published results related to HLA allele analysis. These results revealed a strong genetic relationship between studied North African populations (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). Such evident genetic affinity between North African populations, also proved by the use of other powerful autosomal markers, agrees with historic data considering North African populations as having similar origins. HLA allele analysis also indicated a genetic link between North African populations (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) and the populations of the South-Western Europe particularly the Basques and Spaniards. This would reflect a Neolithic relationship between Iberians and the natives of North Africa (the Berbers). However, other results showed a genetic distinction between samples from North African populations and Middle Eastern populations (Arab-Palestinians, Lebanese’s and Jordanians). Beside these results related to Mediterranean populations, the HLA allele variation was analyzed at the world scale showing low genetic differentiations among the three broad continental areas, with no special divergence of Africa.
Keywords: Genetic diversity; Molecular Anthropology; Genetic History; HLA genes; North Africa; Algeria
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