Genetic differentiation among Sardinian villages


  • PGL Paper No. 135. This work was supported by Italian National Research Council (CNR) and in part by grant IROI HD 06003 from the U.S. National Institutes of Health while P. L. W. was at the Population Genetics Laboratory, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.


The present study reports an analysis of genetic differentiation among 14 Sardinian villages located mainly in the center of the island. Chisquare tests show significant genetic heterogeneity among villages, and analyses by F- and R- statistics indicate an essentially random pattern of differentiation for all alleles. Using the kinship methods of Morton, a matrix, R, with elements rij describing the correlations between the gene frequencies of villages i and j is obtained. Use of Malécot's formula relating the rij to the geographic distances between villages shows a rapid decline of kinship with increasing distance but reveals essentially no relationship for distances over 40 km. Rotation of a two-dimensional reduction of the kinship matrix to maximum congruence with the geographic distances indicates that about 25% of the genetic distances can be accounted for by the geographic location of the villages. Isolation due in part to cultural factors, genetic drift, and special local or regional patterns of villages associations appear to be involved in the pattern of genetic variation.