//Advances in Anthropology

Advances in Anthropology

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Articles of Interest

The Uniparental Genetic Landscape of Modern Slavic Speaking Populations

Journal: Advances in Anthropology | Year: 2017


Slavic speaking populations are the most numerous Indo-European ethnolinguistic group in Europe. They show great variety and fall into three groups: West, East and South Slavic populations. In order to contribute to the understanding of the correlation between linguistic and genetic affiliation of Slavic populations, we have analyzed for the first time their matrilineal and patrilineal relationships and we have also illustrated their position in the European uniparental genetic landscape. For the purpose, we have collected previously published data for the frequencies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome haplogroups in Slavic and other European populations and compared them by Principal Component Analysis (PCA). In the inter-Slavic population comparisons, West and East Slavs are in a closer position, whereas South Slavic populations are rather grouped on their own. In the European context, South Slavic populations are positioned more close to neighboring Balkan non-Slavic and North Italian populations, than to other Slavic populations. When considering the uniparental diversity of Slavic speaking populations, one should also take into account the prevalence of Y-chromosome haplogroup N among East Slavs (comprising almost half of the paternal gene pool in instances), which is almost absent among the other groups (not exceeding 2% – 3%). In conclusion, the data in the present study point that West-East and South Slavic speaking populations, behave as separate groups based on their uniparental genetic structure, which shows that they do not share substantial common genetic ancestry and that there is great genetic variety in the Slavic linguistic unity.

Peoples: Indo-European ethnolinguistic and Slavic populations | Places: Europe | Topics: | DNA Type: mtDNA and Y-DNA

A Time Series of Prehistoric Mitochondrial DNA Reveals Western European Genetic Diversity Was Largely Established by the Bronze Age

Journal: Advances in Anthropology | Year: 2012


A major unanswered question concerns the roles of continuity versus change in prehistoric Europe. For the first time, genetic samples of reasonable size taken at multiple time points are revealing piecemeal snapshots of European prehistory at different dates and places across the continent. Here, we pull these disparate datasets together to illustrate how human genetic variation has changed spatially and temporally in Europe from the Mesolithic through to the present day. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups were determined for 532 European individuals from four major eras: the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic (late Neolithic/early Bronze Age transition) and Modern periods. The Mesolithic was characterized by low mtDNA diversity. These initial European settler haplogroups declined rapidly in the Neolithic, as farmers from the east introduced a new suite of mtDNA lineages into Western Europe. For the first time, we show that the Chalcolithic was also a time of substantial genetic change in Europe. However, rather than the arrival of new mtDNA lineages, this period was characterized by major fluctuations in the frequencies of existing haplogroups. Besides the expansion of haplogroup H, there were few major changes in mtDNA diversity from the Chalcolithic to modern times, thus suggesting that the basic profile of mod- ern western European mtDNA diversity was largely established by the Bronze Age.

Peoples: - | Places: Europe | Topics: Bronze Age | DNA Type: mtDNA

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