July 21, 2008

Y chromosomes and mtDNA of Daghestan groups

This is a free paper which establishes the difference between highland Northeast Caucasian speakers and lowland Altaic speakers in Daghestan. The lowland groups show evidence of Mongoloid haplogroups in both Y chromosomes and mtDNA, while the highland groups are dominated by haplogroup J:
The highland Avar, Dargin, and Kubachi exhibit high frequencies of haplogroup J (0.56, 1.00, and 0.67, respectively)
According to Table 2, the Avars possess 0.33 of J2, so, consistent with previous observations, the Northeast Caucasian groups are J1 (or at least J*(xJ2)) exclusive.

Interestingly, haplogroup G occurs in the Avars (0.06) but not in the other highland groups. Haplogroup G is common in the Southern Caucasus. The mountain groups also have little R1*(xR1a1) (0.06 in Avars, 0.08 in Kubachi) and no I, R1a1 or E.

It certainly seems to be the case that the highland Northeast Caucasian speakers are descended from a J1-dominated ancient Near Eastern population which was preserved due to patrilocal endogamy. The relationship -that I wrote about earlier- of these Caucasian J1's to the Arabian J1's, the second major region of J1 dominance remains to be seen.

BMC Genetics 2008, 9:47 doi:10.1186/1471-2156-9-47

Culture creates genetic structure in the Caucasus: Autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal variation in Daghestan

Elizabeth E Marchani 1, W Scott Watkins 2, Kazima Bulayeva 3, Henry C
Harpending 1, Lynn B Jorde 2§



Near the junction of three major continents, the Caucasus region has been an important thoroughfare for human migration. While the Caucasus Mountains have diverted human traffic to the few lowland regions that provide a gateway from north to south between the Caspian and Black Seas, highland populations have been isolated by their remote geographic location and their practice of patrilocal endogamy. We investigate how these cultural and historical differences between highland and lowland populations have affected patterns of genetic diversity. We test 1) whether the highland practice of patrilocal endogamy has generated sex-specific population relationships, and 2) whether the history of migration and military conquest associated with the lowland populations has left Central Asian genes in the Caucasus, by comparing genetic diversity and pairwise population relationships between Daghestani populations and reference populations throughout Europe and Asia for autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal markers.


We found that the highland Daghestani populations had contrasting histories for the mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data sets. Y-chromosomal haplogroup diversity was reduced among highland Daghestani populations when compared to other populations and to highland Daghestani mitochondrial DNA haplogroup diversity. Lowland Daghestani populations showed Turkish and Central Asian affinities for both mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal data sets. Autosomal population histories are strongly correlated to the pattern observed for the mitochondrial DNA data set, while the correlation between the mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome distance matrices was weak and not significant.


The reduced Y-chromosomal diversity exhibited by highland Daghestani populations is consistent with genetic drift caused by patrilocal endogamy. Mitochondrial and Ychromosomal phylogeographic comparisons indicate a common Near Eastern origin of highland populations. Lowland Daghestani populations show varying influence from Near Eastern and Central Asian populations.

Link (pdf)


Ebizur said...

There are some serious problems with this draft's "Table 2 - Y-Chromosome Haplogroup Frequencies and Diversity":

1) The data on "Georgians" actually results from a pooling of the three samples of Wells et al. 2001: Svanetian (n=25), Kazbegi (n=25), and Ossetian (n=17), and is not taken from Cinnioglu et al. 2004 as the superscript "2" next to "Georgian" in this data table would suggest. The Ossetians are not really "ethnic Georgians," of course, but rather speakers of a NE Iranic language. The figure of 4% haplogroup D in Georgians actually refers to the 3/17 = 17.6% of haplogroup E-M96 that Wells et al. found in their sample of Ossetians from Georgia, averaged among the three samples of Svanetians, Kazbegis, and Ossetians (25 + 25 + 17 = 67; 3/67 = 4.48% haplogroup E, but the data table has erroneously displayed this as 4% haplogroup D among Georgians.)

2) The "Iranian" data (n=52) in this data table results from a pooling of the three samples of Iranians from Iran in Wells et al. 2001: Tehran (n=24), Shiraz (n=12), and Esfahan (n=16).

3) The rows for haplogroup D and haplogroup E have been mostly switched. Thus, the figures for haplogroup D among Crimean Tatars, Georgians (actually Ossetians in this case), and Iranians actually refer to haplogroup E-M96, and the figures for haplogroup E among Kazaks and Mongolians actually refer to haplogroup D (1/54 = 1.9% in the Kazak sample and 1/24 = 4.2% in the Mongolian sample of Wells et al. 2001). However, the figure for haplogroup E among the Turks in Cinnioglu et al. 2004 is labeled correctly as haplogroup E, and the figure of 3% (1/31) haplogroup D among "East Asians" is probably labeled correctly as haplogroup D. As for the 6% (1/16) haplogroup D figure presented for this study's Nogai sample, I am not certain whether this should actually be haplogroup E or not.

I urge everyone to be cautious when using any data that has been presented in this data table.

Varg said...

The Ossets as the Soviet scientists both 20 approved, and 30 years later are "Iranians" only by language, but not by origin back. And you did not know? Besides in language the Osset all grammar Caucasian and many sounds also Caucasian. As Ossetians, anybody from others Iranians does not say.

Me another interests. How mountain Daghestanians, concerning to so-called "Caucasiony" to anthropological type can be related to Arabs and Italians? They - Caucasiony'es- of high growth, round-headed (brachycephals) and it is frequent with light hair and eyes. According to researches Yunusbayev, Ando-Tsezians (subethnos among Avarians) belong to haplogroup "I". It however is not clear. Unless Ando-Tsezians externally something differ from Avars? Between them very weak difference. Caucasiony of Daghestan precisely same externally as White Caucasiones of Georgia, the Chechen Republic, Kabardino-Balkaria. That prevented scientists to allocate кавкасионцев and to lead the measurements at them. It is necessary to study in the beginning Caucasiony, and then so-called Caspian anthropological type. Here ои "dolichokephals", with narrow persons and dark hair also are rather similar to Italians and the Turk and others.

And the last... Why Kazima Bulayeva has taken data Akhvakhs and has presented them as data of Avars? In village It is Novo-Mekhelta live Akhvakhians, the truth speaking on-Avarian "bol-mats" (=language of Army). But they Akhvakhs. And the name has of vilage also is Akhvakhian, but not so Avarian.

Chechenians and Daghestanians speak in languages which have no the slightest relationship with Semitic. Than it is possible to explain it?