We have analyzed Y-chromosome diversity in the western Mediterranean area, examining p49a,f TaqI haplotype V and subhaplotypes Vb (Berber) and Va (Arab). A total of 2,196 unrelated DNA samples, belonging to 22 populations from North Africa and the southern Mediterranean coast of occidental Europe, have been typed. Subhaplotype Vb, predominant in a Berber population of Morocco (63.5%), was also found at high frequencies in southern Portugal (35.9%) and Andalusia (25.4%). The Arab sub-haplotype Va, predominant in Algeria (53.9%) and Tunisia (50.6%), was also found at a relatively high frequency in Sicily (23.1%) and Naples (16.4%); its highest frequency in Iberia was in northern Portugal (22.8%) and Andalusia (15.5%). In Iberia there is a gradient of decreasing frequencies in latitude for both subhaplotypes Va and Vb, related to eight centuries of Muslim domination (8th to 15th centuries) in southern Iberia.
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