'' In summary, Portuguese, Spaniards, Basques, and Algerians,
the latter mostly bearing a Paleo-North African or
Berber component (Julien 1961), seem to share a genetic
background among themselves that is not generally shared
with other Europeans (with the exception of Sardinians) or
Mediterraneans. ''

'' A high frequency of A29-B44-DR7 is a
marker for ancient western Europeans, including Portuguese,
Basques, and Spaniards; it is also common in Irish,
southern English, and western French ''

'' A33-B14-DR1 is found in Mediterraneans, but not in Basques
or Portuguese, reflecting the relative lack of contact with
Mediterraneans common to both Basques and Portuguese;
these latter groups also share one of the highest frequencies
of the Rh phenotype (see above). Armenians show a high
frequency of this haplotype, which counters the postulated
ancient relationship between Basques and Armenians (Urartu)
(MartõÂnez-Laso et al. 1995). ''

I remeber that Gunther also writed something about a racial relation among Basques and Armenians/Armenoids/Hither-Asiatic

'' A25-B18-DR15 is only found in Portugal among Europeans; it is
also observed in white North Americans and in Brazilians
(Imanishi et al. 1992b). It is probably a marker for the
ancient Portuguese people in Europe and for people of
Portuguese descent in America. ''

''Some white Paleo-North Africans
(Hamites, bearing HLA A30-B18 haplotypes) reached
the Iberian Peninsula, while others may have settled in
Sardinia, Crete [Linear A is also being deciphered based on
the Basque language (J. Alonso-GarcõÂa, manuscript in
preparation)], Etruria in Italy (the Etruscan language has
also been deciphered on the same basis) (J. Alonso-GarcõÂa,
manuscript in preparation), and also in the fertile Nile area
and in Sumer. Both the ancient Egyptian (now Coptic) and
Sumerian languages are classified together with Basque and
Berber among the Hamitic group of languages (PenÄa-Guzman


Relatedness among Basques, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Algerians studied by HLA allelic frequencies and haplotypes

A. Arnaiz-Villena A1, Jorge Martínez-Laso A1, Eduardo Gómez-Casado A1, Nieves Díaz-Campos A1, Paulo Santos A2, Antonio Martinho A2, Henriqueta Breda-Coimbra A2

A1 Department of Immunology, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense, Avda. Andalucía s/n. E-28041, Madrid, Spain
A2 Centro de Histocompatibilidade do Centro, Lusotransplante, Coimbra, Portugal


Abstract HLA-A, -B, -DRB1, -DQA1, and DQB1 alleles were studied in Iberian and Algerian populations by serology and DNA sequence methodologies. The genetic and cultural relatedness among Basques, Spaniards, and paleo-North Africans (Berbers or Tamazights) was established. Portuguese people have also maintained a certain degree of cultural and ethnic-specific characteristics since ancient times. The results of the present HLA study in Portuguese populations show that they have features in common with Basques and Spaniards from Madrid: a high frequency of the HLA-haplotypes A29-B44-DR7 (ancient western Europeans), A2-B7-DR15 (ancient Europeans and paleo-North Africans), and A1-B8-DR3 (Europeans) are found as common characteristics. Portuguese and Basques do not show the Mediterranean A33-B14-DR1 haplotype, suggesting a lower admixture with Mediterraneans; Spaniards and Algerians do have this haplotype in a relatively high frequency, indicating a more extensive Mediterranean genetic influence. The paleo-North African haplotype A30-B18-DR3 present in Basques, Algerians, and Spaniards is not found in Portuguese either. The Portuguese have a characteristic unique among world populations: a high frequency of HLA-A25-B18-DR15 and A26-B38-DR13, which may reflect a still detectable founder effect coming from ancient Portuguese, i.e., oestrimnios and conios; Basques and Algerians also show specific haplotypes, A11-B27-DR1 and A2-B35-DR11, respectively, probably showing a relatively lower degree of admixture. A neighbor-joining dendrogram place Basques, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Algerians closer to each other and more separated from other populations. Genetic, cultural, geological, and linguistic evidence also supports the hypothesis that people coming from a fertile Saharan area emigrated towards the north (southern Europe, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean Islands, and the North African coast) when the climate changed drastically to hotter and drier ca 10 000 years B.C.