The genetic signature of Neolithic in Greece

Anagnostou, Paolo (2011) The genetic signature of Neolithic in Greece, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biodiversità ed evoluzione - biodiversity and evolution, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3628.
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The Neolithic is characterized by the transition from a subsistence economy, based on hunting and gathering, to one based on food producing. This important change was paralleled by one of the most significant demographic increase in the recent history of European populations. The earliest Neolithic sites in Europe are located in Greece. However, the debate regarding the colonization route followed by the Middle-eastern farmers is still open. Based on archaeological, archaeobotanical, craniometric and genetic data, two main hypotheses have been proposed. The first implies the maritime colonization of North-eastern Peloponnesus from Crete, whereas the second points to an island hopping route that finally brought migrants to Central Greece. To test these hypotheses using a genetic approach, 206 samples were collected from the two Greek regions proposed as the arrival point of the two routes (Korinthian district and Euboea). Expectations for each hypothesis were compared with empirical observations based on the analysis of 60 SNPs and 26 microsatellite loci of Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA hypervariable region I. The analysis of Y-chromosome haplogroups revealed a strong genetic affinity of Euboea with Anatolian and Middle-eastern populations. The inferences of the time since population expansion suggests an earlier usage of agriculture in Euboea. Moreover, the haplogroup J2a-M410, supposed to be associated with the Neolithic transition, was observed at higher frequency and variance in Euboea showing, for both these parameters, a decreasing gradient moving from this area. The time since expansion estimates for J2a-M410 was found to be compatible with the Neolithic and slightly older in Euboea. The analysis of mtDNA resulted less informative. However, a higher genetic affinity of Euboea with Anatolian and Middle-eastern populations was confirmed. These results taken as a whole suggests that the most probable route followed by Neolithic farmers during the colonization of Greece was the island hopping route.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Anagnostou, Paolo
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
3 Maggio 2011

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