ABSTRACT: Inbreeding patterns over the past two centuries have been studied more extensively in Spain and Italy than anywhere else in Europe. Consanguinity studies in mainland Spain have shown that populations settled along the Cantabrian cornice share inbreeding patterns that distinguish them from other populations further south. A visual representation of spatial variations of two key inbreeding variables is presented here for the first time via contour maps. This paper also analyzes time trends of mean inbreeding coefficients for X-linked (F(x)) and autosomal genes (F) (1862-1995) together with variations in F(x)/F ratios in Guipúzcoa, the most autochthonous Spanish Basque province. Because close cousin marriages are a mark of identity of the study population, we evaluated the contribution of uncle-niece/aunt-nephew (M12) and first cousin (M22) marriages to F(x) and F values and compared the frequencies of M12 and M22 pedigree subtypes and their corresponding F(x)/F ratios to those found in other Spanish populations. The mean Fx and F inbreeding levels in Guipúzcoa for the 134-year period analyzed were 1.51 x 10(-3) and 1.04 x 10(-3), respectively, and the F(x)/F ratio was seen to be very stable over time. Our findings show that major similarities exist for close consanguineous marriage subtypes between Basque and non-Basque Spanish populations, despite significant geographic variability in terms of first cousin pedigrees. The distortion seems to be caused by Guipúzcoa. The F(x)/F ratios for first cousins in Spanish populations were higher than expected (1.25), with values ranging from 1.34 to 1.48. The findings of the present study may be useful for advancing knowledge on the effects of the interaction between biology and culture and for exploring associations between mating patterns and the prevalence of certain diseases.
Annals of Human Genetics 01/2009; 73(2):184-95. · 2.57 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: An understanding of population relationships in the Mediterranean region is crucial to the reconstruction of recent human evolution. Andalusia, the most southern region of Spain, has been continuously and densely occupied since ancient times and has a rich history of contacts with many different Mediterranean populations. Thus, to understand the Mediterranean peopling process, investigators should analyze the population relationships between the Iberian peninsula and northern Africa based on an assessment of genetic diversity that takes Andalusia into consideration. The aim of this study was to address the extent of genetic variation in the Iberian peninsula between its geographic extremes (Huelva and the Basque area) and to explain the intensity of the phylogenetic relationships between Andalusians and other neighboring populations, such as those from North Africa. We present, for the first time, results on allotype markers (GM and KM) of human immunoglobulins in the Andalusian population from Huelva. The most frequent GM haplotypes in Andalusia correspond to those that are also the most common in Europe. A sub-Saharan haplotype was found at a relatively high frequency compared to other Iberian samples, and a North Asian marker did not reach polymorphic frequencies in the study sample. A hierarchical cluster analysis based on the first two principal components (94.1% of the total genetic variance) revealed an interesting geographic structure for the 49 populations selected from the literature. The Huelva sample showed a central position in the multivariate space--despite being geographically located at one of the extremes of the Mediterranean basin--and clustered with most Western European populations. Western Europe and Eastern Europe (the latter group paradoxically including Italy and the major islands of the western Mediterranean) were differentiated. North African populations were grouped in two clusters that did not separate either Arabs and Berbers or their present-day countries. Analysis of immunoglobulin allotype markers shows that gene flow among human populations should generally be interpreted in terms of complex patterns, with the observed frequencies being the consequence of the entire genetic and demographic history of the population. Single historical events rarely determine gene frequencies in large human populations. Analysis of the GM system has shown that the Andalusian population from Huelva, as a result of its complex history, is not simply an outstanding part of the Mediterranean world but rather the genetic center of gravity of that world.
Human Biology 01/2007; 78(6):663-79. · 1.31 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The Goierri, a mountain region within the Basque Hills of Guipúzcoa, includes one of the most culturally controlled autochthonous
populations within the Basque area, mainly from linguistic point of view. The effects of geography and demographic changes
(1862–1995) on consanguinity variables over its 21 Municipalities have been investigated. Rates of consanguineous marriages
and mean inbreeding levels recorded in some of the southern villages can be considered high but, average values for the entire
region were lowered due to the early industrialization of the province. In spite of that, consanguinity in the study area
has been, for a long time, a prevailing and conspicuous phenomenon when compared to the other Guipúzcoa regions. The impact
of marriages between first cousins from immigrant groups on the regional inbreeding levels represents an interesting result
Geographic and demographic factors seem to be related both to the extent of marriages as well as to the number of potential
mates within populations, which, in turn, are associated with mean inbreeding levels. Altitude seems to show weak relationship
with population distribution and population consanguinity variables. Nevertheless, levels of endogamy appear positively correlated
with consanguinity rates and mean inbreeding coefficient and, inversely related-but not statistically significant- to mean
village sizes. First cousin marriages yield the highest levels of exogamy and exogamous M22 marriages were mostly concentrated
within short (1–10 km) and long-range marital distances (>50 km).
The aveaage values of Goierri have been compared with a consanguinity data set of some selected Spanish mountain populations
taken from the literature. One of the main results is that geographic and demographic variables are poorly correlated with
the most important inbreeding parameters. However, different clusters of populations can be observed with specific characteristics
for each of them, not highly correlated with geography.
International Journal of Anthropology 06/2005; 20(3):173-197.
ABSTRACT: GM and KM immunoglobulin (Ig) allotypes were tested in 118 autochthonous Basques from northern Navarre. The results are compared to those obtained for the same genetic markers in 6 other Basque subpopulations, 3 from Spain (Guipúzcoa, Vizcaya, and Alava) and 3 from France: Macaye, Saint-Jean Pied de Port, and Mauleon. The northern Navarrese appear genetically closer to the Alava and Saint-Jean Pied de Port subpopulations. The Basques present 3 GM haplotypes that are uncommon in Caucasian populations, suggesting that they have not been completely isolated either from Asian or African populations. The GM*1,17 23' 10,11,13,15,16 north Asian haplotype was probably the first to be introduced into the Basque area. The GM*1,17 23' 5* haplotype, considered an African genetic marker although also detected in Central Asia, would have reached the Iberian Peninsula through consecutive historic migrations from North Africa. The rare haplotype GM*1,17 23 21,28 results probably from a genetic recombination or crossing-over between the 2 common haplotypes GM*1, 17 23' 21,28 and GM*3 23 5*. It is also found with a low frequency in other neighboring regions and countries; but the possibility of its having been introduced through the main passage connecting western France and Spain during the Roman Empire and Middle Ages cannot be ruled out.
Human Biology 09/2000; 72(4):619-40. · 1.31 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The importance of studying the genetic kinship of those human groups characterized by a deeply rooted ethnicity has traditionally been and still is an interesting goal of anthropological and population genetic studies. However, only a few surveys have aimed to learn about the impact of industrial development on the consanguinity of these populations and even those have concentrated on industrialized regions. This approach is worth analysing in Spain, where industrialization was late in relation to other western European countries.
In this work we analyse the characteristics of inbreeding in Guipúzcoa from 1951 to 1995. This Basque province underwent industrial and tourist development earlier than other Spanish regions. It has the highest density of Basque speakers and has always occupied a central position within the map of distribution of the Basque language. Guipúzcoa is geographically placed in the core of the Basque area. SUDJECTS AND METHODS: Data on consanguineous marriages recorded in the province of Guipúzcoa between 1951 and 1995 were taken from Roman Catholic dispensations stored in the Diocesan Archives of San Sebastián, the province's capital city. Over the whole time period, a total of 1152 consanguineous marriages were registered.
The high frequencies of first cousin (M22) (F = 1/16) and uncle-niece, aunt-nephew (M12) (F = 1/8) consanguineous marriages distinguish Guipúzcoa from the rest of Iberian populations. The M22/M33 ratio (with M33 being second cousins) has never dropped below 0.67, which represents a significant deviation from the expectation value of 0.25. When consanguineous marriages are classified according to marriage partner birthplaces interesting results emerge. Provincial endogamy shows the highest consanguinity rates (57%) and the proportion of M22/M33 is also rather high (0.63). However, a major contribution to the consanguinity levels and mean inbreeding coefficient recorded in Guipúzcoa over recent decades has been made by immigrant relative groups coming from other geographical areas of Spain. In this segment of population the observed M22/M33 rates are 1.44.
This study shows again how important preferentiality (or avoidance) is in human consanguinity, and also how human groups, in spite of being spatially settled in the same territory, present differential attitudes for given consanguinity patterns.
Annals of Human Biology 28(5):505-21. · 1.98 Impact Factor