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Jordan, located in the Levant region, is a crucial area to investigate human migration between Africa and Eurasia. Even thought, the genetic history of Jordanians is far to be clarified including the origin of the Bedouins today resident in Jordan. Here, we provide new genetic data on autosomal independent markers in two Jordanian population samples (Bedouins and general population) in order to approach the genetic diversity inside this country and to give new information about the genetic position of these populations in the frame of the Mediterranean and Middle East area. The analyzed markers are 18 Alu polymorphic insertions characterized by their identity by descent, known ancestral state (lack of insertion) and their apparent selective neutrality.

The results indicate significant genetic differences between Bedouins and General Jordanians (p= 0.038) from the 18 markers. Whereas Bedouins show a close genetic proximity to North African, General Jordanians appear genetically as more similar to other Middle East populations. In general, the data of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that Bedouins have had an important role in the peopling of Jordan and constitute the original substrate of the current population. However, migration into Jordan in recent years likely has contributed to the diversity among current Jordanian population groups.