The Evolution of Human Populations in Arabia

Part of the series Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology pp 69-78


Mitochondrial DNA Structure of Yemeni Population: Regional Differences and the Implications for Different Migratory Contributions

  • Jakub RídlAffiliated withInstitute of Molecular Genetics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, v.v.i.
  • , Christopher M. EdensAffiliated withAmerican Institute for Yemeni Studies
  • , Viktor ČernýAffiliated withInstitute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, v.v.i.Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague Email author 

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Yemen, in the southwestern corner of Arabian peninsula, lies at the crossroads between Africa and Eurasia. Genomes of present-day Yemenis were inherited from their progenitors, and may attest to the history of the region. Molecules of DNA can, therefore, shed light on how busy this crossroads was during the past millennia. Unfortunately, Yemeni populations have been neglected in genetic literature until recently. However, from the genetic point of view, there are several important questions that cannot be addressed without detailed genetic data. Do the present-day populations of southern Arabia contain genetic traces testifying to the first migration Out-of-Africa? Can such traces survive until today? What subsequent population movements may have affected the Yemeni gene pool? What is the proportion of more ancient (Pleistocene) and more recent (Holocene) population impacts to its genetic diversity? Did the specific geographic position of Yemen influence the genetic structure of its population?

This chapter provides a review of published mitochondrial DNA data from Yemeni populations within the archaeological and paleoclimatological context. Further the implications for estimations of past migratory events as well as for future prospects are discussed.


MtDNA Macrohaplogroups Paleoclimate Yemen