October 14, 2005

Phenetic Analysis in Paleoanthropology

Russian Journal of Genetics Volume 41, Number 9

Phenetic Analysis in Paleoanthropology: Phenogeography of Peoples of the World

A. A. Movsessian

Abstract Phenetic diversity of peoples of the world in a system of nonmetric, discrete variable traits has been studied. Sixty-two populations from North, Central, and Southeast Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, America, East Africa, Australia, and Melanesia have been examined. The estimates of phenetic diversity within regions (Fst) and the distances of the regions from the global means (d) proved to be comparable to the corresponding estimates inferred from genetic data. This means that differentiation of populations in discrete variable traits is related to the history of formation of their gene pools. A classification tree of the world peoples constructed using bootstrap implemented in the PHYLIP program package (Felsenstein, 1993) showed that the Australo-Melanesian populations were close to the East African ones but separated from those of the Eurasian region. The results of phylogenetic analysis of the reconstructed phene pools of the regional ancestral populations support the assumptions on the early colonization of Australia and Melanesia and on the later time of divergence of the ancestors of modern Caucasoids and North Asian Mongoloids.


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