April 29, 2005

Y chromosomes in Bosnia-Herzegovina

A very important new paper from a little-studied region of the world sheds some light on the genetic composition of Serbs, Croats and "Bosniacs" from Bosnia-Herzegovina. I will probably have more to say on this subject after this Easter season.

Annals of Human Genetics (OnlineEarly)

The Peopling of Modern Bosnia-Herzegovina: Y-chromosome Haplogroups in the Three Main Ethnic Groups

D. Marjanovic et al.


The variation at 28 Y-chromosome biallelic markers was analysed in 256 males (90 Croats, 81 Serbs and 85 Bosniacs) from Bosnia-Herzegovina. An important shared feature between the three ethnic groups is the high frequency of the "Palaeolithic" European-specific haplogroup (Hg) I, a likely signature of a Balkan population re-expansion after the Last Glacial Maximum. This haplogroup is almost completely represented by the sub-haplogroup I-P37 whose frequency is, however, higher in the Croats (~71%) than in Bosniacs (~44%) and Serbs (~31%). Other rather frequent haplogroups are E (~15%) and J (~7%), which are considered to have arrived from the Middle East in Neolithic and post-Neolithic times, and R-M17 (~14%), which probably marked several arrivals, at different times, from eastern Eurasia. Hg E, almost exclusively represented by its subclade E-M78, is more common in the Serbs (~20%) than in Bosniacs (~13%) and Croats (~9%), and Hg J, observed in only one Croat, encompasses ~9% of the Serbs and ~12% of the Bosniacs, where it shows its highest diversification. By contrast, Hg R-M17 displays similar frequencies in all three groups. On the whole, the three main groups of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in spite of some quantitative differences, share a large fraction of the same ancient gene pool distinctive for the Balkan area.


1 comment:

Roger said...

Without a doubt this paper clearly shows that the Bosnians and Croats have one of the highest incidence of Haplogroup I in Europe. This is a Paleolithic marker indicating that a considerable proportion of people would have ancestral lineage to the original European inhabitants and that the influence of the Neolithic farmers was minimal unlike that seen in countries such as Greece.