In August 2015, EUROTAST research network members Cesar Fortes-Lima and Jean-Michel Dugoujon published a genetic dataset from 288 men in Benin and Ivory Coast. Benin has a complex history and a high cultural diversity, including dozens of ethnolinguistic groups. For this research, Cesar Fortes-Lima focused on the Y-chromosome markers from five groups, the Bariba, Yoruba and Fon in Benin; the Ahizi and Yacouba in Ivory Coast. From this research they found regional homogeneity of male lineages, and surprising differences between two different groups of Yoruba. This differences may be due to the border between Benin and Nigeria, or possibly related to the historical expansion of the former Ile-Ife kingdom, from which all modern Yoruba communities claim to be the descendants.
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Ninety-six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and seventeen short tandem repeat (STRs) were investigated on the Y-chromosome of 288 unrelated healthy individuals from populations in Benin (Bariba, Yoruba, and Fon) and the Ivory Coast (Ahizi and Yacouba). We performed a multidimensional scaling analysis based on FST and RST genetic distances using a large extensive database of sub-Saharan African populations. There is more genetic homogeneity in Ivory Coast populations compared with populations from Benin. Notably, the Beninese Yoruba are significantly differentiated from neighbouring groups, but also from the Yoruba from Nigeria (FST > 0.05; P < 0.01). The Y-chromosome dataset presented here provides new valuable data to understand the complex genetic diversity and human male demographic events in West Africa.