We investigated the genetic heterogeneity of 2354 individuals from the 9 provinces of Sicily. The genetic markers we used were HP, GC, TF, PI, and AK1 plus other previously tested polymorphisms, for a total of 24 independent markers. Distinct multivariate statistics were applied to verify the claimed genetic distinctiveness between extant eastern and western Sicilian populations. Our hypothesis stated that any diversity found between the two subpopulations would represent the signature of early colonization of the island by Greek and Phoenician peoples. Correspondence analysis showed that there was no clear geographic clustering within Sicily. The genetic distance matrix used for identifying the main genetic barriers revealed no east-west differences within the island’s population, at least at the provincial level. FST estimates proved that the population subdivision did not affect the pattern of gene frequency variation; this implies that Sicily is effectively one panmictic unit. The bulk of our results confirm the absence of genetic differentiation between eastern and western Sicilians, and thus we reject the hypothesis of the subdivision of an ancient population in two areas.
Rickards, O.; Martinez-Labarga, C.; Scano, G.; De Stefano, G.F.; Biondi, G.; Pacaci, M.; and Walter, H.
"Genetic History of the Population of Sicily,"
4, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol70/iss4/4