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This study analyzes patterns of variation in eight GM and seven Rhesus (RH) haplotypes across sub-Saharan Africa. We examine the concordance with genetic patterns of both geographic and language-family relationships by spatial analysis and ordination techniques. The genetic variation has significant spatial structure, but positive autocorrelation declines neither asymptotically nor proportionally with increasing distance. Evidently, neither isolation by distance nor clinal migration-selection models account for the observed genetic structure. Language-family relationship is the best predictor of genetic relationship and may reflect historic migrations and expansions of ethnically different peoples within sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the greatest part of the genetic variance remains unexplained by the models we have tested.