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Ann Hum Genet. 2009 Jan;73(1):61-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2008.00487.x. Epub 2008 Nov 26.

Population structure in contemporary Sweden--a Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

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1
Finnish Genome Center, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Tukholmankatu 8, P.O. Box 20, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

A population sample representing the current Swedish population was analysed for maternally and paternally inherited markers with the aim of characterizing genetic variation and population structure. The sample set of 820 females and 883 males were extracted and amplified from Guthrie cards of all the children born in Sweden during one week in 2003. 14 Y-chromosomal and 34 mitochondrial DNA SNPs were genotyped. The haplogroup frequencies of the counties closest to Finland, Norway, Denmark and the Saami region in the north exhibited similarities to the neighbouring populations, resulting from the formation of the Swedish nation during the past millennium. Moreover, the recent immigration waves of the 20th century are visible in haplogroup frequencies, and have led to increased diversity and divergence of the major cities. Signs of genetic drift can be detected in several counties in northern as well as in southern Sweden. With the exception of the most drifted subpopulations, the population structure in Sweden appears mostly clinal. In conclusion, our study yielded valuable information of the structure of the Swedish population, and demonstrated the usefulness of biobanks as a source of population genetic research. Our sampling strategy, nonselective on the current population rather than stratified according to ancestry, is informative for capturing the contemporary variation in the increasingly panmictic populations of the world.

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