Genetic Structure of an Isolated Rural Population in North Albania Evaluated Through Isonymic Method

Ilia Mikerezi, Muhamir Shyqeri


The genetic structure of a rural isolated population living in Kukës District in northern part of Albania, was analyzed through the surnames distribution. The data suitable for this analysis were obtained from Electoral Register (2009) offered by Central Election Commission of Albania. In order to estimate the population diversity, the information from the populations of 10 administrative units (communes) for a total of 1768 surnames belonging to 39571 individuals was used. Indicators of genetic structure such as Fisher’s α, an estimate of surname diversity and coefficient of consanguinity (F), were obtained. Different genetic distances between all possible pairs of 10 municipalities (populations) were calculated and the correlation with geographic distance was tested. Lasker’s, Nei and Euclidean distances were positively correlated with geographic distance, indicating the presence of isolation by distance. In addition, the application of multivariate analysis such as Cluster and Principal Components to isonymic distance matrix revealed that the trend of genetic relationships among the investigated populations was according to their geographic locations. This is an important indication that geographic distance could be a determinant factor in the definition of the above population’s genetic structure.


isonymy, isolation by distance, population structure, surname distribution, coefficient of consanguinity, Kukës district

Full Text:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.