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Genome-wide analysis of Corsican population reveals a close affinity with Northern and Central Italy

By Erika Tamm, Julie Di Cristofaro, Stéphane Mazières, Erwan Pennarun, Alena Kushniarevich, Alessandro Raveane, Ornella Semino, Jacques Chiaroni, Luisa Pereira, Mait Metspalu, Francesco Montinaro

Posted 01 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/722165 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-49901-8)

Despite being the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean basin, the genetic variation of Corsica has not been explored as exhaustively as Sardinia, which is situated only 11 km South. However, it is likely that the populations of the two islands shared, at least in part, similar demographic histories. Moreover, the relative small size of the Corsica may have caused genetic isolation, which, in turn, might be relevant under medical and translational perspectives. Here we analysed genome wide data of 16 Corsicans, and integrated with newly (33 individuals) and previously generated samples from West Eurasia and North Africa. Allele frequency, haplotype-based, and ancient genome analyses suggest that although Sardinia and Corsica may have witnessed similar isolation and migration events, the latter is genetically closer to populations from continental Europe, such as Northern and Central Italians.

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