More on this after I get a chance to read the paper...
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2006 Apr 4; [Epub ahead of print]
Population origins in Mongolia: Genetic structure analysis of ancient and modern DNA.
Keyser-Tracqui C, Crubezy E, Pamzsav H, Varga T, Ludes B.
In the present study, nuclear (autosomal and Y-chromosome short tandem repeats) and mitochondrial (hypervariable region I) ancient DNA data previously obtained from a 2,300-year-old Xiongnu population of the Egyin Gol Valley (south of Lake Baikal in northern Mongolia) (Keyser-Tracqui et al. 2003 Am. J. Hum. Genet. 73:247-260) were compared with data from two contemporary Mongolian populations: one from the same location (Egyin Gol Valley plus a perimeter of less than 100 km around the valley), and one from the whole of Mongolia. The principal objective of this comparative analysis was to assess the likelihood that genetic continuity exists between ancient and present-day Mongolian populations. Since the ancient Xiongnu sample might have been composed of some of the ancestors of the present-day Yakuts, data from a present-day Yakut population, as well as published data from Turkish populations, were also included in the comparative analysis. The main result of our study was the genetic similarity observed among Mongolian samples from different periods and geographic areas. This result supports the hypothesis that the succession over time of different Turkic and Mongolian tribes in the current territory of Mongolia resulted in cultural rather than genetic exchanges. Furthermore, it appears that the Yakuts probably did not find their origin among the Xiongnu tribes, as we previously hypothesized.