December 23, 2011

Multiple origins of Russian mtDNA

First PC of mtDNA variation on the left. From the paper:
The genetic distances from the Russians to the Europeanlanguage groups indicate that the gene pool of present-day Russians bears the influence of Slavic, Baltic,Finno-Ugric and, to a lesser extent, Germanic groups, aswell as Iranian and Turkic groups. 
The results of this study strongly suggest that the impact of the pre-Slavic (Finno-Ugric) population on the East European Plain is the most important factor for the northward and southward differentiation of the present-day Russian gene pool. This explanation supports the view proposing the genetic influence of Finno-Ugrians on the formation of the northern regions of Russia, which was inferred from mtDNA marker studies of some Russian populations (Grzybowski et al., 2007) and Y-chromosome analysis (Balanovsky et al., 2008). 
Being quite distant from the Finno-Ugric group, the Southern Russians consequently differ from the Northern Russians in their closeness to the Germanic group. This difference indicates that the Germanic people played a significant role in the development of the southern, but not the northern segment of the Russian gene pool. In general, the Germanic influence on the formation of the Russians is not as obvious as the impact of the Slavic, Baltic, and Finno-Ugric people. However, strong interactions between the Germanic and Slavic tribes have been found in archeological materials dating from the mid-first millennium B.C. to the early first millennium A.D. These interactions were the strongest on the northern coast of the Black Sea, in the area of the multiethnic Chernyakhov archeological culture (second to fifth centuries A.D.). In the second half of the first millennium A.D., the descendants of this culture colonized the southern regions of the historical Russian area (Sedov, 1994, 1995). However, there is no evidence in the historical literature of the interaction between the Germanic tribes and the Slavs (and later, the Russians) after the Slavic colonization of the East European Plain. Therefore, the Germanic influence could not have occurred after the early part of the first millennium A.D., which was before the eastward Slavic migration (Sedov, 1994, 1995). Apparently, the impact of the Germanic people on the Chernyakhov Slavs affected the gene pool of modern Southern Russians, consequently differentiating them from the Northern Russians (Fig. 6).
Am J Phys Anthropol DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21649

Russian ethnic history inferred from mitochondrial DNA diversity

Irina Morozova et al.

With the aim of gaining insight into the genetic history of the Russians, we have studied mitochondrial DNA diversity among a number of modern Russian populations. Polymorphisms in mtDNA markers (HVS-I and restriction sites of the coding region) of populations from 14 regions within present-day European Russia were investigated. Based on analysis of the mitochondrial gene pool geographic structure, we have identified three different elements in it and a vast “intermediate” zone between them. The analysis of the genetic distances from these elements to the European ethnic groups revealed the main causes of the Russian mitochondrial gene pool differentiation. The investigation of this pattern in historic perspective showed that the structure of the mitochondrial gene pool of the present-day Russians largely conforms to the tribal structure of the medieval Slavs who laid the foundation of modern Russians. Our results indicate that the formation of the genetic diversity currently observed among Russians can be traced to the second half of the first millennium A.D., the time of the colonization of the East European Plain by the Slavic tribes. Patterns of diversity are explained by both the impact of the native population of the East European Plain and by genetic differences among the early Slavs.



Project "Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae" said...

The proximity of southern Russians, Ukrainians - and more specifically, Belorusians - to the Germanic group is also confimed by the phylogenetic reconstruction of classical genetic markers, such as HLA haplotypes. IN dendogramm, published in Boldyreva's PhD thesis, Belorusians cluster with Czechs, Austrians and Belgians.

princenuadha said...

> The analysis of the genetic distances from these elements to the European ethnic groups revealed the main causes of the Russian mitochondrial gene pool differentiation

How good are that figuring out the direction of gene flow? Would if the Southern Russians helped to create the germanic population?

eurologist said...

"How good are that figuring out the direction of gene flow? Would if the Southern Russians helped to create the germanic population?"


That depends on how far back in time you want to go. Autosomally, Northern Europeans are sufficiently removed from Mediterraneans that one can argue for a different LGM refuge. Even before LGM, it is likely that there was a lot of gene flow from the northern plains and the Danube to the steppes north of the Black & Caspian Sea - simply because these areas were connected by easy travel and provided similar food support.

After introduction of agriculture, central and northern Europe were culturally united by LBK and its successors. Most scholars believe that people that can be considered Germanic in culture and language ranged from slightly west of the Rhine river into much of the Polish plains and south thereof during all of the first millennium BCE.

There are very early Germanic loan words into the northern branches of Finno-Ugric (earlier than into Baltic or Slavic). Such studies as well as archeology support the notion that Gothic tribes expanded even further southeast in the centuries just before Slavic expansion northwest (and north, and northeast).

This is pretty well documented with virtually no room for speculation. But yes, I would agree that 2,000 - 3,000 years ago, people in much of what is now Poland, Slovakia, and parts of the Ukraine were autosomally rather close to Germanic people (the same way Hungarians to date are very close to Germans, Czech, Austrians, Slovenians, etc.).

DagoRed said...

Well, This confirms what we already know, the Goths migrated from the Baltic to the present-day Bielorussia and Ukraine in 200 AD.

Dmytro said...

They were preceded by the Bastarnians (a complex mix of Germanics, Celts, and "Pomeranians" --the ethnically as yet unidentified component which domnated the old Lusatian culture---). All of these played a role in Slavic ethnogenesis, which was basically complete by the time the Goths arrived. The Bastarnians began to disintegrate in the late 1rst BCE One group migrated to Dardania. Others fused with the emerging Slavs. Yet others crossed over into the Roman Empire in the late 3rd c. And some were "Gothicized" as part of the Chernyakhiv Gothic culture. The last group may have been ancestral to the 6th c. Dudlebians. I'm leaning towards the view that some of the early Germanic borrowings into Slavic (such as the political/military terms "Knyaz'" "mech" "sholom" (king, sword, helmet) and others, came from the Bastarnian component. Interestingly, the late linguist B. Struminski demonstrated that most of the names of the known Slavic leaders of the 6th century (the Antes and Sclavini) seemed to be of Germanic origin. The Bastarnians could also have contributed I2a-Din, but this will be difficult to prove archaeologically because of their burial rite (cremation). Anyway, the research goes on...

DagoRed said...

I did not named the Bastarnae because their origin is unclear, although it was a very well known people from the ancient chroniclers.
Probably it was a confederation of Celtic and Germanic tribes, which became similar to the Sarmatians, but it is possible that it bring germanic genes in thearea , before the great Slavic invasion.
After the invasion of the Goths 100,000 of them were settled within the Empire and lost their identity in a very short time.

formerjerseyboy said...

It may be misleading to project so far into the past (early 1st millenium AD) present-day ethnic identities such "Slavic" and "Germanic." The quote re Slavs below could also be applied to other eastern European groups as well.

According to "Linguistic Marginalia on Slavic Ethnogenesis by Sorin Paliga" (available on the Web), " ... the first Slavic groups had no generic, or common, conscience of their origin, and that the generic concept of Slavic ethnikon gradually got contours across the following centuries, to
eventually become an accepted fact in the 10th century and later."

Dr Rob said...

The gene flow could travel either way up the Vistula, etc. In fact, more likely SOUTH to NORTH (ie from the forest-steppe region of the East Carpathian and NW Pontic region to the Baltic). The former has always been a "population oven" from where peoples expanded north to the Baltic and south to the open steppe (periodically). Finally, there is no credible proof that the Goths "came from" Gotland. The Goths formed where they always lived - in the lower Danube and NW Pontic region.

Dr Rob said...

And FJB is correct in agreeing what Paliga stated.