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PLoS One. 2015 Sep 2;10(9):e0135820. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135820. eCollection 2015.

Genetic Heritage of the Balto-Slavic Speaking Populations: A Synthesis of Autosomal, Mitochondrial and Y-Chromosomal Data.

Author information

1
Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Institute of Genetics and Cytology, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus.
2
Department of Genetics and Cytology, Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkіv, Ukraine; Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
3
Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
4
Department of Human and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.
5
Institute of Mathematical Statistics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
6
Center for Genomics and Transcriptomics (CeGaT GmbH), Tübingen, Deutschland; Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7
Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
8
Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
9
Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia.
10
Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
11
Department of Genetics and Cytology, Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkіv, Ukraine.
12
Institute of Genetics and Cytology, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus.
13
Institute of History, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus.
14
Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Northern State Medical University, Arkhangel, Russia.
15
Belgorod State University, Belgorod, Russia.
16
Kuban State Medical University, Krasnodar, Russia.
17
Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Research Centre, RAS, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.
18
Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Research Centre, RAS, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia; Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine of Bashkir State University, Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia.
19
International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia.
20
Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia.
21
Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
22
Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France.
23
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow, Russia.
24
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
25
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambs, United Kingdom.
26
Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
27
Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia; Department of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn, Estonia.

Abstract

The Slavic branch of the Balto-Slavic sub-family of Indo-European languages underwent rapid divergence as a result of the spatial expansion of its speakers from Central-East Europe, in early medieval times. This expansion-mainly to East Europe and the northern Balkans-resulted in the incorporation of genetic components from numerous autochthonous populations into the Slavic gene pools. Here, we characterize genetic variation in all extant ethnic groups speaking Balto-Slavic languages by analyzing mitochondrial DNA (n = 6,876), Y-chromosomes (n = 6,079) and genome-wide SNP profiles (n = 296), within the context of other European populations. We also reassess the phylogeny of Slavic languages within the Balto-Slavic branch of Indo-European. We find that genetic distances among Balto-Slavic populations, based on autosomal and Y-chromosomal loci, show a high correlation (0.9) both with each other and with geography, but a slightly lower correlation (0.7) with mitochondrial DNA and linguistic affiliation. The data suggest that genetic diversity of the present-day Slavs was predominantly shaped in situ, and we detect two different substrata: 'central-east European' for West and East Slavs, and 'south-east European' for South Slavs. A pattern of distribution of segments identical by descent between groups of East-West and South Slavs suggests shared ancestry or a modest gene flow between those two groups, which might derive from the historic spread of Slavic people.

PMID:
26332464
PMCID:
PMC4558026
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0135820
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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