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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Apr;1011:21-35.

Mitochondrial DNA variation in the aboriginal populations of the Altai-Baikal region: implications for the genetic history of North Asia and America.

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Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119991 Russia.


The discovery of mtDNA types common to Asians and Amerinds (types A, B, C, and D) forced investigators to search for those nations of Asia which, though not considered the ancestors of the Amerinds, have retained a close genetic resemblance with them. We collected samples and studied the gene pools of the Turkic-speaking nations of South Siberia: Altaians, Khakassians, Shorians, Tuvinians, Todjins, Tofalars, Sojots, as well as Mongolian-speaking Buryats. The data indicate that nearly all Turkic-speaking nations of Siberia and Central Asia, as well as the Buryats, have types A, B, C, and D in their gene pool. The highest total frequency of these types is observed in the Tuvinians and Sojots. They, as well as the Buryats, also have the lowest frequency of the europeoid types. The most mixed Asian-Europeoid gene pool examined turned out to be that of the Shorians. An important finding was the presence of type X in the Altaians, which had not yet been detected in Asia. As shown by computer analysis, this DNA sequence is not a late European admixture. Rather, the Altai variant X is ancient and can be close to the ancestral form of the variants of contemporary Europeans and Amerinds. The presented results prove that of all nations in Asia, the Turkic-speaking nations living between Altai and Baikal along the Sayan mountains are genetically closest to the Amerinds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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