Mitochondrial DNA characterisation of European isolates: The Maragatos from Spain
José M Larruga1, Fernando Díez2, Francisco M Pinto1, Carlos Flores1 and Ana M González1
1Departamento de Genética, Universidad de La Laguna, 38271 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2Centro de Salud de Astorga, León, Spain
Correspondence to: José M Larruga, Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Tenerife 38271, Spain. Tel: +34 922 318 351; Fax: +34 922 318 311; E-mail: email@example.com
Mitochondrial DNA analysis confirms that Maragatos from Spain are a genetically isolated human group. Genetic distances between Maragatos and the comparison samples are significantly different even with the León sample (P<0.001) which shares the same geographic area as the Maragatos. Although the north-African haplogroup U6 is present in them, their attributed Berber origin is weakened, as this haplogroup is also detected in surrounding populations with which, in addition, Maragatos have the smaller genetic distances. These U6 haplotypes are ascribed to a pre-historic African colonisation that influenced all the Iberian Peninsula. The presence of Neolithic haplogroups in this sample suggests that their isolation culture was not absolute until recent times. European Journal of Human Genetics (2001) 9, 708-716.