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Free Content A tale of two islands: population history and mitochondrial DNA sequence variation of Bioko and São Tomé, Gulf of Guinea

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The hypervariable segment I of the control region of the mtDNA was sequenced in 45 unrelated individuals from Bioko and 50 from São Tomé, two islands in the Gulf of Guinea that have had very different settlement patterns: Bioko was colonized around 10000 BP, while São Tomé was first settled by the Portuguese, who brought African slaves to the island. Two different patterns of sequence variation are evident and are also clearly a consequence of their very different demographic histories. The Bubi present a low genetic diversity and it is likely that the island was colonized by a small number of individuals with small later migration. São Tomeans might be considered a subset of a mainland African population relocated to the island. They present high genetic diversity with a high number of sequences being shared with many continental populations. This study, with knowledge of the population history in island populations, strengthens the genetic approach to unravel past demographic events.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratori d'Antropologia, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain 2: Departamento de Antropologia, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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