European Journal of Human Genetics (advance online publication)
Y-chromosome diversity in Sweden – A long-time perspective
Andreas O Karlsson et al.
Sixteen Y-chromosomal binary markers and nine Y-chromosome short tandem repeats were analyzed in a total of 383 unrelated males from seven different Swedish regions, one Finnish region and a Swedish Saami population in order to address questions about the origin and genetic structure of the present day population in Sweden. Haplogroup I1a* was found to be the most common haplogroup in Sweden and accounted, together with haplogroups R1b3, R1a1 and N3, for over 80% of the male lineages. Within Sweden, a minor stratification was found in which the northern region Västerbotten differed significantly (P<0.05) from the other Swedish regions. A flow of N3 chromosomes into Västerbotten mainly from Saami and Finnish populations could be one explanation for this stratification. However, the demographic history of Västerbotten involving a significant male absence during the 17th Century may also have had a large impact. Immigration of young men from elsewhere to Värmland at the same time, can be responsible for a similar deviation with I1a* haplotypes. Y chromosomes within haplogroup R1b3 were found to have the highest STR variation among all haplogroups and could thus be considered to be one of the earliest major male lineages present in Sweden. Regional haplotype variation, within R1b3, also showed a difference between two regions in the south of Sweden. This can also be traced from historical time and is visible in archaeological material. Overall this Y chromosome study provides interesting information about the genetic patterns and demographic events in the Swedish population.