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PLoS Genet. 2015 Apr 21;11(4):e1005068. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005068. eCollection 2015 Apr.

The genetic legacy of the expansion of Turkic-speaking nomads across Eurasia.

Author information

1
Evolutionary Biology group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Research Centre, RAS, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.
2
Evolutionary Biology group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America.
3
Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
4
Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Research Centre, RAS, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.
5
Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine, Bashkir State University, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.
6
Research Centre for Medical Genetics, RAMS, Moscow, Russia.
7
Research Centre for Medical Genetics, RAMS, Moscow, Russia; Vavilov Institute for General Genetics, RAS, Moscow, Russia.
8
Laboratory of Genomics, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Academy of Sciences Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
9
Mongolian Academy of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
10
Department of Medical Genetics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
11
Evolutionary Biology group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Laboratory of Ethnogenomics, Institute of Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia.
12
Evolutionary Biology group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia.
13
Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Yakut Research Center of Complex Medical Problems, Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia; Laboratory of Molecular Biology, North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia.
14
Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Research Centre, RAS, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia; Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine, Bashkir State University, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.
15
Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Gene Technology Workgroup, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia.
16
Institute of Internal Medicine, SB RAMS, Novosibirsk, Russia.
17
Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Magadan, Russia.
18
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia.
19
Institute of Internal Medicine, SB RAMS, Novosibirsk, Russia; Institute of Cytology and Genetics, SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia.
20
Laboratory of Ethnogenomics, Institute of Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia.
21
Division of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
22
Evolutionary Biology group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn, Estonia.

Abstract

The Turkic peoples represent a diverse collection of ethnic groups defined by the Turkic languages. These groups have dispersed across a vast area, including Siberia, Northwest China, Central Asia, East Europe, the Caucasus, Anatolia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. The origin and early dispersal history of the Turkic peoples is disputed, with candidates for their ancient homeland ranging from the Transcaspian steppe to Manchuria in Northeast Asia. Previous genetic studies have not identified a clear-cut unifying genetic signal for the Turkic peoples, which lends support for language replacement rather than demic diffusion as the model for the Turkic language's expansion. We addressed the genetic origin of 373 individuals from 22 Turkic-speaking populations, representing their current geographic range, by analyzing genome-wide high-density genotype data. In agreement with the elite dominance model of language expansion most of the Turkic peoples studied genetically resemble their geographic neighbors. However, western Turkic peoples sampled across West Eurasia shared an excess of long chromosomal tracts that are identical by descent (IBD) with populations from present-day South Siberia and Mongolia (SSM), an area where historians center a series of early Turkic and non-Turkic steppe polities. While SSM matching IBD tracts (> 1cM) are also observed in non-Turkic populations, Turkic peoples demonstrate a higher percentage of such tracts (p-values ≤ 0.01) compared to their non-Turkic neighbors. Finally, we used the ALDER method and inferred admixture dates (~9th-17th centuries) that overlap with the Turkic migrations of the 5th-16th centuries. Thus, our results indicate historical admixture among Turkic peoples, and the recent shared ancestry with modern populations in SSM supports one of the hypothesized homelands for their nomadic Turkic and related Mongolic ancestors.

PMID:
25898006
PMCID:
PMC4405460
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1005068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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