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Mitochondrial DNA patterns in the Iberian Northern plateau: Population dynamics and substructure of the Zamora province



Several studies have shown the importance of recent events in the configuration of the genetic landscape of a specific territory. In this context, due to the phenomena of repopulation and demographic fluctuations that took place in recent centuries, the Iberian Northern plateau is a very interesting case study. The main aim of this work is to check if recent population movements together with existing boundaries (geographical and administrative) have influenced the current genetic composition of the area. To accomplish this general purpose, mitochondrial DNA variations of 214 individuals from a population located in the Western region of the Iberian Northern plateau (the province of Zamora) were analyzed. Results showed a typical Western European mitochondrial DNA haplogroup composition. However, unexpected high frequencies of U5, HV0, and L haplogroups were found in some regions. The analyses of microdifferentiation showed that there are differences between regions, but no geographic substructure organization can be noticed. It can be stated that the differences observed in the genetic pool of the sampled area at regional level results from the mixture of different populations carrying new lineages into this area at different points in history. Am J Phys Anthropol 142:531–539, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.