May 30, 2007

Migration routes in Romania

Ann Hum Genet. 2007 May 28; [Epub ahead of print]

Migration Rates and Genetic Structure of two Hungarian Ethnic Groups in Transylvania, Romania.

Brandstatter A, Egyed B, Zimmermann B, Duftner N, Padar Z, Parson W.

Institute of Legal Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria.

Transylvania's ethnic mosaic is composed of Romanians, German Saxons and Hungarians. The ethnic groups of the Hungarian minority that settled in Romania show differences in dialects, customs and religious affiliations. In this study entire mtDNA control region sequences from 360 individuals of Hungarian ethnicity from two populations (the Csango and the Szekely), settled in the historical region of Transylvania in Romania, were generated and analyzed following high quality sequencing standards. Phylogenetic analyses were used for haplogroup determination, quasi-median network analyses were applied for the visualization of character conflicts, and median joining reconstructions were used for depicting haplotype structures. Affiliation of haplotypes to major west Eurasian haplogroups was confirmed using coding region SNPs. Gene flow between the two populations was low and biased towards a higher migration rate from the Csango to the Szekely than vice versa. Phylogeographic analyses revealed effects of genetic isolation within the Csango population, which is, in its genetic structure, clearly different from the Szekely population. The pronounced genetic divergence between the two populations is in sharp contrast to the expectation of high genetic similarity due to the close geographic proximity of their native homelands. The population data will be incorporated in the EMPOP database (


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