Diversity of some gene frequencies in European and Asian populations. IV. Genetic population structure assessed by the variogram



    1. Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
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    • *Istituto di Zoologia, Università di Ferrara, via L. Borsari, 46, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy


Isolation-by-distance models of population structure predict an exponential decrease of genetic relatedness with distance. Under the Kimura-Weiss (1964) model the plots of gene frequency variance versus distance (variograms), computed at various loci, are expected to have equal slope and reach a common asymptote. The gene frequency distributions at eight loci in 192 European and Asian populations have been summarized by variograms. On the average, the Kimura-Weiss model seems to describe adequately allele frequency change up to 900 km, but gradients are apparent at greater distances for most markers studied. These patterns may result form either differential selection or long-range gene flow; however, the extensive clinal variation observed for glyoxalase, esterase D and 6-PGD cannot be entirely accounted for by the Neolithic radiation of early farmers in the Middle East and Europe.