March 07, 2013
Y chromosomes of Bulgarians (Karachanak et al. 2013)
The dates in the paper are based on the "evolutionary mutation rate". I suspect that ancient DNA will be the final arbiter in this issue, because, for example, a Mesolithic TMRCA of E-V13 in Bulgaria implies that we'll find a lot of it in Neolithic contexts, whereas a Bronze Age one implies that we'll find a little if any of it, and a discontinuity across time.
Of interest is the occurrence of some E*(xM35, M2) in this sample in Burgas, Varna, and Plovdiv. It would be interesting to trace the ancestry of the bearers of these Y-chromosomes. I know that there still exists a minority-within-a-minority of Black Muslims in Greek Thrace, and it's not inconceivable that these Y-chromosomes may represent the legacy of a similar population; in any case, their haplotypes can be found in Table S5 for anyone wanting to investigate.
SNP Diversity within R seems substantial, and as always, it is difficult to say much, since this may be a consequence of either (i) a plausible role of the Balkans as a staging point of the likely invasion of Europe in late prehistory, or (ii) back-migration of derived R-bearers into the Balkans, be them Slavs or Goths or "eastern" folks of various stripes during history. Once again, I suspect that ancient DNA might solve this riddle, or, alternatively, routine high-coverage sequencing of the Y chromosome that might inform us, e.g., about the TMRCA of a Bulgarian and a German R-U152 or a Bulgarian and Polish R-M458.
PLoS ONE 8(3): e56779. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056779
Y-Chromosome Diversity in Modern Bulgarians: New Clues about Their Ancestry
Sena Karachanak et al