Recent historical migrations have shaped the gene pool of Arabs and Berbers in North Africa
Arauna, L.R.; Mendoza-Revilla, J.; Mas-Sandoval, A.; Izaabel, H.; Bekada, A.; Benhamamouch, S.; Fadhlaoui-Zid, K.; Zalloua, P.; Hellenthal, G.; Comas, D. (2017)
Molecular Biology and Evolution 34(2):318-329. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msw218
Human populations in North Africa are characterised by their recent genetic admixture from different groups. Arabs and Berbers, the two main socio-cultural groups in the region, show traces of autochthonous and recently-acquired genetic components. In the present analysis, using haplotype-based methods, not only the proportions of these components were estimated but also the time of the admixture. Results show that North African groups are very heterogeneous in the proportion of these genetic components and no significant differences were found between Berber and Arab groups. Admixture estimates reveal a clear pattern of recent migrations in historical times, with estimates around the 7th century CE coincident with the Arabisation of the region, and sub-Saharan migrations since Roman times until the trans-Saharan slave trade in the Modern Era.