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Eurasian and African mitochondrial DNA influences in the Saudi Arabian population

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-7-32

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Abstract:

The Saudi Arabian group showed greatest similarity to other Arabian Peninsula populations (Bedouin from the Negev desert and Yemeni) and to Levantine populations. Nearly all the main western Asia haplogroups were detected in the Saudi sample, including the rare U9 clade. Saudi Arabs had only a minority sub-Saharan Africa component (7%), similar to the specific North-African contribution (5%). In addition, a small Indian influence (3%) was also detected.The majority of the Saudi-Arab mitochondrial DNA lineages (85%) have a western Asia provenance. Although the still large confidence intervals, the coalescence and phylogeography of (preHV)1 haplogroup (accounting for 18 % of Saudi Arabian lineages) matches a Neolithic expansion in Saudi Arabia.This study represents mtDNA data regarding the population of Saudi Arabia. Geographically, desert is the most prominent feature of the Arabian Peninsula, which comprises the modern countries of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Saudi Arabia occupies eighty percent of the Arabian Peninsula and is divided into five major regions – Central, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western. From the western coastal region (At-Tihamah), the land rises from sea level to a peninsula-long mountain range (jabal al-Hijaz) beyond which are plateaus to the east. The southwestern 'Asir region has mountains as high as 3,000 metres (9,840 ft) and is known for having the most hospitable climate in the country. The east is primarily rocky or sandy lowland continuing to the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Although vast arid tracts dominate, stretches of coastline along the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea and several major oases in the central and eastern regions have provided water necessary for human habitation. The coastal areas have been trading centers for centuries with resultant population diversity. In addition, for 1400 years the Haj has brought millions of Muslims annually to the region between Mecca and Je

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