Ancient mtDNA analysis and the origin of the Guanches

Ancient mtDNA analysis and the origin of the Guanches

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.

Citation:

  • Maca-Meyer, Nicole; Arnay, Matilde; Rando, Juan C.; Flores, Carlos; Gonzalez, Ana M.; Cabrera, Vicente M. & Larruga, Jose M. (2003). Ancient mtDNA analysis and the origin of the Guanches. European Journal of Human Genetics, 12(2), 155-162.

Source Link:
http://www.dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201075

Keywords

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: mtDNA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.