Article ID: 120618
We characterized 2005 individuals from nine populations in the region of Tlemcen in Western Algeria for the ABO, rhesus, MNSs, and Duffy blood groups, in association with genetic traits. The results were compared to those for other populations in Algeria, North Africa, and Southern Europe, in order to situate and clarify the genetic status of this region. Principal-component analyses and phylogenetic trees of the matrices of the genetic distances, on the regional and Mediterranean scales, reveal strong homogeneity at the regional level and convergence between North African populations. This indicates high genetic affinities among these populations. This study highlights the differences between the two sides of the Mediterranean, probably due to the independent peopling history of these populations after they had settled. The resulting genetic structure of these populations is best explained by a combination of gene flow, ecology, and history.