3 years ago

Contacts in the last 90,000 years over the Strait of Gibraltar evidenced by genetic analysis of wild boar (<i>Sus scrofa</i>)

Vicente Urios, Maria P. Donat-Torres, Carmen Soria-Boix

by Carmen Soria-Boix, Maria P. Donat-Torres, Vicente Urios

Contacts across the Strait of Gibraltar in the Pleistocene have been studied in different research papers, which have demonstrated that this apparent barrier has been permeable to human and fauna movements in both directions. Our study, based on the genetic analysis of wild boar (Sus scrofa), suggests that there has been contact between Africa and Europe through the Strait of Gibraltar in the Late Pleistocene (at least in the last 90,000 years), as shown by the partial analysis of mitochondrial DNA. Cytochrome b and the control region from North African wild boar indicate a close relationship with European wild boar, and even some specimens belong to a common haplotype in Europe. The analyses suggest the transformation of the wild boar phylogeography in North Africa by the emergence of a natural communication route in times when sea levels fell due to climatic changes, and possibly through human action, since contacts coincide with both the Last Glacial period and the increasing human dispersion via the strait.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181929

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