Synthetic maps of human gene frequencies in Europeans

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Science  01 Sep 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4358, pp. 786-792
DOI: 10.1126/science.356262


Multivarate techniques can be used to condense the information for a large number of loci and alleles into one or a few synthetic variables. The geographic distribution of synthetic variables can be plotted by the same technique used in mapping the gene frequency of a single allele. Synthetic maps were constructed for Europe and the Near East, with the use of principal components to condense the information of 38 independent alleles from ten loci. The first principal component summarizes close to 30% of the total information and shows gradients. Maps thus constructed show clines in remarkable agreement with those expected on the basis of the spread of early farming in Europe, thus supporting the hypothesis that this spread was a demic spread rather than a cultural diffusion of farming technology.