Y chromosomal heritage of Croatian population and its island isolates

Y chromosomal heritage of Croatian population and its island isolates


Y chromosome variation in 457 Croatian samples was studied using 16 SNPs/indel and eight STR loci. High frequency of haplogroup I in Croatian populations and the phylogeographic pattern in its background STR diversity over Europe make Adriatic coast one likely source of the recolonization of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum. The higher frequency of I in the southern island populations is contrasted with higher frequency of group R1a chromosomes in the northern island of Krk and in the mainland. R1a frequency, while low in Greeks and Albanians, is highest in Polish, Ukrainian and Russian populations and could be a sign of the Slavic impact in the Balkan region. Haplogroups J, G and E that can be related to the spread of farming characterize the minor part (12.5%) of the Croatian paternal lineages. In one of the southern island (Hvar) populations, we found a relatively high frequency (14%) of lineages belonging to P*(xM173) cluster, which is unusual for European populations. Interestingly, the same population also harbored mitochondrial haplogroup F that is virtually absent in European populations – indicating a connection with Central Asian populations, possibly the Avars.


  • Barac, Lovorka; Pericic, Marijana; Klaric, Irena M.; Rootsi, Siiri; Janicijevic, Branka; Kivisild, Toomas; Parik, Juri; Rudan, Igor; Villems, Richard & Rudan, Pavao (2003). Y chromosomal heritage of Croatian population and its island isolates. European Journal of Human Genetics, 11(7), 535-542.

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