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Thread: Surnames and Genes in Sicily and Southern Italy

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Surnames and Genes in Sicily and Southern Italy

    See: Alessio Boattini et al
    Ripples on the surface. Surnames and genes in Sicily and Southern Italy

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...525?src=recsys

    "Background: Southern Italy and Sicily played a key role in the peopling history of the Mediterranean. While genetic research showed the remarkable homogeneity of these regions, surname-based studies instead suggested low population mobility, hence potential structuring.Aim: In order to better understand these different patterns, this study (1) thoroughly analysed the surname structure of Sicily and Southern Italy and (2) tested its relationships with a wide set of molecular markers.
    Subjects and methods: Surname data were collected from 1213 municipalities and compared to uniparental and autosomal genetic markers typed in ∼300 individuals from 8–10 populations. Surname analyses were performed using different multivariate methods, while comparisons with genetic data relied on correlation tests.
    Results: Surnames were clearly structured according to regional geographic patterns, which likely emerged because of recent isolation-by-distance-like population dynamics. In general, genetic markers, hinting at a pervasive homogeneity, did not correlate with surname distribution. However, long autosomal haplotypes (>5 cM) that compared to genotypic (SNPs) data identify more “recent” relatedness, showing a clear association with surname patterns.
    Conclusion: The apparent contradiction between surname structure and genetic homogeneity was resolved by figuring surnames as recent “ripples” deposited on a vast and ancient homogeneous genetic “surface”.



    Well, 300 samples from 8-10 populations in a scientific sample does it for me. I think we can retire the claims that there are significant differences autosomally among Southern Italians and Sicilians which have been proposed by certain internet posters, but which were based on unscientific sampling like who chose to buy a kit from 23andme. What Dienekes maintained five years ago is once again born out by academic sampling and analysis.

    Still, I'd really like to read the paper. Does anyone know if this is available somewhere?
    Last edited by Angela; 02-02-18 at 04:49.


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    Thanks for sharing this Angela, I'll keep my eye out to see if it becomes available.

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    Well hopefully they'll admit defeat and find other ways to occupy their time...which may never happen. They'll just play armchair geneticist and point out "flaws" in their methods or conclusions to make them feel better
    mmmmmmmmm dooouuughhhnuuuutz

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    Of course, the validity of their conclusions as to whether there are significant differences between different area of Southern Italy and Sicily autosomally will depend on their methodology, which we can't judge yet because we don't have access to the full paper.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Well, 300 samples from 8-10 populations in a scientific sample does it for me. I think we can retire the claims that there are significant differences autosomally among Southern Italians and Sicilians which have been proposed by certain internet posters, but which were based on unscientific sampling like who chose to buy a kit from 23andme. What Dienekes maintained five years ago is once again born out by academic sampling and analysis.


    Still, I'd really like to read the paper. Does anyone know if this is available somewhere?
    In the studies it appear S. Italy is more homogeneous than N. Italy autosomally. Anyway we need many samples from all regions to have a better opinion about Italian genetic-cline (Sardinia is isolated).
    Sicilians and mainlander Southern Italian phenotype galleries.

    http://italicroots.lefora.com/topic/1111/Re-Groups-of-Sicilians
    http://italicroots.lefora.com/topic/375/Southern-italians-how-we-really-look

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauteville View Post
    In the studies it appear S. Italy is more homogeneous than N. Italy autosomally. Anyway we need many samples from all regions to have a better opinion about Italian genetic-cline (Sardinia is isolated).
    Thats what the ancient greeks said about Italy ( minus sicily )
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post
    Thats what the ancient greeks said about Italy ( minus sicily )
    Sorry, I'm a bit confused by what you're saying here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post
    Thats what the ancient greeks said about Italy ( minus sicily )
    Sicily is part of Italian genetic cline, Sardinia don't.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Bump, the full paper is now available if anyone's interested (along with several others from the same journal issue).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falco View Post
    Bump, the full paper is now available if anyone's interested (along with several others from the same journal issue).
    Thanks. The full paper is not available at the same link:
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/1...eedAccess=true

    I can't wait to read it.

    Do you have the links to the other papers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Thanks. The full paper is not available at the same link:
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/1...eedAccess=true

    I can't wait to read it.

    Do you have the links to the other papers?
    Are you sure? When I clicked on the link in the OP it came up; the other papers are available on the right side of the page where it says "People also read."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falco View Post
    Are you sure? When I clicked on the link in the OP it came up; the other papers are available on the right side of the page where it says "People also read."
    '

    Sorry, Falco, that was a typo. I meant is "now" available at the link in the OP. Thanks again.

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    Awesome! I was looking forward to this :)

    Here's some of the figures








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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Awesome! I was looking forward to this :)

    Here's some of the figures







    Very interesting dendogram.

    The only overlap in terms of surnames seems to be between Basilicata and Apulia North.

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    I think their conclusion is what many of us have proposed in the past.

    "Conclusion: The apparent contradiction between surname structure and genetic homogeneity was resolved by figuring surnames as recent “ripples” deposited on a vast and ancient homogeneous genetic “surface”.

    So, Dienekes was right again, and the "anthro" experts wrong. What else is new?




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    Some other interesting bits:

    "A first study (Sarno et al., 2014Sarno S, Boattini A, Carta M, Ferri G, Alù M, Yao DY, Ciani G, et al. 2014. An ancient Mediterranean melting pot: investigating the uniparental genetic structure and population history of Sicily and southern Italy. PLoS One 9:e96074.[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]), based on a comprehensive analysis of uniparental markers (Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA), showed that Sicily and Southern Italy are characterised by high levels of within-population variability coupled with low between-population variability, which is different to what was previously observed in Northern Italy (Boattini et al., 2013Boattini A, Martinez-Cruz B, Sarno S, Harmant C, Useli A, Sanz P, Yang-Yao D, et al. 2013. Uniparental markers in Italy reveal a sex-biased genetic structure and different historical strata. PLoS One 8:e65441.[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). In addition, no significant genetic structuring was detected either within Sicily or between Sicily and Southern Italy. Interestingly, Y-chromosome results pointed to a strong relatedness with Southern Balkan populations and the dates of the most important lineages (haplogroups, HGs) hinted to the relevance of Neolithic and Bronze Age migrations in the making of Southern Italian and Sicilian genetic heritage."

    "
    Our study moved from the observation that genetic- and surname-based structures of Southern Italy and Sicily suggest different patterns. In fact, from a genetic perspective previous studies have shown that this area is mostly characterised by the absence of internal sub-structuring, its main feature instead being a remarkable homogeneity."

    "
    in this study we could observe the ‘meeting place’ between DNA and surnames when introducing autosomal haplotype-based markers (IBD tracts), which in fact are particularly apt at exploring the recent layers of genetic variation (‘fine-scale structuring’)."

    "However, some differences were observed when comparing Sicily to Southern Italy. In fact, recent differentiation phenomena were more intense in Southern Italy than in Sicily, which, in contrast, also maintained a significant degree of homogeneity from the surnames point of view. This result may be related to the lower geographic complexity of Sicily, compared to Southern Italy (particularly Calabria), which probably facilitated mobility at a regional scale."

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    They also mention that there has largely been genetic continuity since the Bronze Age, with one or two exceptions noted below:

    The same studies suggested that this peculiar genetic background (‘Mediterranean continuum’) was already in place at least at the end of the Bronze Age. Subsequent major population movements, such as the Greek colonisation of ‘Magna Graecia’, mostly reinforced this peculiar pattern, while some minor differences emerged only in more recent times, most notably as a by-product of the Early Middle Ages Slavic migrations and of later migrations prompted by the Turkish-Ottoman invasion of the Balkan Peninsula (such as in the case of the Arbereshe; Fiorini et al., 2007 Fiorini S, Tagarelli G, Boattini A, Luiselli D, Piro A, Tagarelli A, Pettener D. 2007. Ethnicity and Evolution of the Biodemographic Structure of Arbëreshe and Italian Populations of the Pollino Area, Southern Italy (1820–1984). American Anthropol. 109:735–746.[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
    I also found this interesting as well:
    They are (1) a huge Neolithic-like genetic component (∼50%) and (2) a Bronze Age component incorporating a significant Caucasus-related ancestry (∼24%). If the former is obviously related to migrations that spread Neolithic technologies towards the West, the second one suggests a less known net of Bronze-Age population movements along the Eastern Mediterranean shores through Anatolia.
    Just an educated guess, but could this hint at a migration of Myceanean-like people (or the Myceaneans themselves) in the Middle-Late Bronze Age period toward southern Italy? I know in the recent Lazaridis paper Myceneans were modeled either as partly Iran ChL/CHG+EHG (in addition to being majority Anatolian Neolithic) or as partly MLBA Armenian IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falco View Post
    They also mention that there has largely been genetic continuity since the Bronze Age, with one or two exceptions noted below:



    I also found this interesting as well:


    Just an educated guess, but could this hint at a migration of Myceanean-like people (or the Myceaneans themselves) in the Middle-Late Bronze Age period toward southern Italy? I know in the recent Lazaridis paper Myceneans were modeled either as partly Iran ChL/CHG+EHG (in addition to being majority Anatolian Neolithic) or as partly MLBA Armenian IIRC.
    That, or the same groups that helped form the Mycenaeans also helped form the populations of Italy?

    I don't rule out that Mycenaean like groups could also have migrated to Italy, and of course we know that the Greeks of the first millennium BC did so also.

    It's migration after migration, different layers, if you will, a good amount of it mediated by way of Greece and the rest of the Balkans.

    Well, Ralph and Coop didn't find any significant gene flow into Italy after at the latest 400 BC. I think Busby et al's algorithm just picks up the latest pulse, not necessarily the most significant.

    Just look at the other post where we're discussing Varna and then the modern Tuscans. The Balkan Bronze Age seems to plot very near the Tuscans.

    I just hope more papers with ancient Italian dna are in the pipeline, and that they're as well done as the Amorim et al one on the Lombards.

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    In this study there is also the Y-DNA distribution with surnames and towns examinated in supplemental file.

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    Campania was not included? Too much migration in and out of Naples?

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    Quote Originally Posted by New Englander View Post
    Campania was not included? Too much migration in and out of Naples?
    They were simply not included in the study. So your speculation is completely unwarranted. I would suggest that you re-frame from making such bold assumptions based on absolutely nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by New Englander View Post
    Campania was not included? Too much migration in and out of Naples?
    I don't think about it, because Palermo is kinda like Naples.

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    Very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falco View Post
    They also mention that there has largely been genetic continuity since the Bronze Age, with one or two exceptions noted below: I also found this interesting as well: They are (1) a huge Neolithic-like genetic component (∼50%) and (2) a Bronze Age component incorporating a significant Caucasus-related ancestry (∼24%). If the former is obviously related to migrations that spread Neolithic technologies towards the West, the second one suggests a less known net of Bronze-Age population movements along the Eastern Mediterranean shores through Anatolia. Just an educated guess, but could this hint at a migration of Myceanean-like people (or the Myceaneans themselves) in the Middle-Late Bronze Age period toward southern Italy? I know in the recent Lazaridis paper Myceneans were modeled either as partly Iran ChL/CHG+EHG (in addition to being majority Anatolian Neolithic) or as partly MLBA Armenian IIRC.
    Falco, that's interesting indeed. It was very likely a Chalcolithic migration.

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