This study examines the genetic variation in Basque Y chromosome lineages using data on 12 Y-short tandem repeat (STR) loci in a sample of 158 males from four Basque provinces of Spain (Alava, Vizcaya, Guipuzcoa, and Navarre). As reported in previous studies, the Basques are characterized by high frequencies of haplogroup R1b (83%). AMOVA analysis demonstrates genetic homogeneity, with a small but significant amount of genetic structure between provinces (Y-short tandem repeat loci STRs: 1.71%, p = 0.0369). Gene and haplotype diversity levels in the Basque population are on the low end of the European distribution (gene diversity: 0.4268; haplotype diversity: 0.9421). Post-Neolithic contribution to the paternal Basque gene pool was estimated by measuring the proportion of those haplogroups with a Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) previously dated either prior (R1b, I2a2) or subsequent to (E1b1b, G2a, J2a) the Neolithic. Based on these estimates, the Basque provinces show varying degrees of post-Neolithic contribution in the paternal lineages (10.9% in the combined sample).
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Vol. 83 • No. 4