Shared language, diverging genetic histories: highresolution analysis of Y-chromosome variability in Calabrian and Sicilian Arbereshe

Luca Sineo, Alessio Boattini, Francesca Brisighelli, Paolo Anagnostou, Sara De Fanti, Andrea Quagliariello, Ciro Del Vecchio, Stefania Sarno, Oh-Sung Kwon, Eugenio Bortolini, Luigi Di Sarno, Donata Luiselli, Giuseppe Tagarelli, Andrea Prota, Sergio Tofanelli, Davide Pettener, Cristian Capelli, Gianmarco Ferri

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13 Citazioni (Scopus)


The relationship between genetic and linguistic diversification in human populations has been often explored to interpret somespecific issues in human history. The Albanian-speaking minorities of Sicily and Southern Italy (Arbereshe) constitute animportant portion of the ethnolinguistic variability of Italy. Their linguistic isolation from neighboring Italian populations and theirdocumented migration history, make such minorities particularly effective for investigating the interplay between cultural,geographic and historical factors. Nevertheless, the extent of Arbereshe genetic relationships with the Balkan homeland andthe Italian recipient populations has been only partially investigated. In the present study we address the genetic history ofArbereshe people by combining highly resolved analyses of Y-chromosome lineages and extensive computer simulations. A largeset of slow- and fast-evolving molecular markers was typed in different Arbereshe communities from Sicily and Southern Italy(Calabria), as well as in both the putative Balkan source and Italian sink populations. Our results revealed that the consideredArbereshe groups, despite speaking closely related languages and sharing common cultural features, actually experienceddiverging genetic histories. The estimated proportions of genetic admixture confirm the tight relationship of Calabrian Arbereshewith modern Albanian populations, in accordance with linguistic hypotheses. On the other hand, population stratification and/oran increased permeability of linguistic and geographic barriers may be hypothesized for Sicilian groups, to account for theirpartial similarity with Greek populations and their higher levels of local admixture. These processes ultimately resulted in thedifferential acquisition or preservation of specific paternal lineages by the present-day Arbereshe communities.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 1 July 2015; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.138
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)600-606
Numero di pagine7
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2700.2716???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1900.1909???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1900.1901???


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