April 11, 2008

Origins of African mtDNA in Slavs

See also Origins of Mongoloid mtDNA in Slavs. and Sub-Saharan African mtDNA admixture in several West Eurasian (Caucasoid) populations.

European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 9 April 2008; doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2008.70

Reconstructing the phylogeny of African mitochondrial DNA lineages in Slavs.

Malyarchuk BA, Derenko M, Perkova M, Grzybowski T, Vanecek T, Lazur J.

To elucidate the origin of African-specific mtDNA lineages, revealed previously in Slavonic populations (at frequency of about 0.4%), we completely sequenced eight African genomes belonging to haplogroups L1b, L2a, L3b, L3d and M1 gathered from Russians, Czechs, Slovaks and Poles. Results of phylogeographic analysis suggest that at least part of the African mtDNA lineages found in Slavs (such as L1b, L3b1, L3d) appears to be of West African origin, testifying to an opportunity of their occurrence as a result of migrations to Eastern Europe through Iberia. However, a prehistoric introgression of African mtDNA lineages into Eastern Europe (approximately 10 000 years ago) seems to be probable only for European-specific subclade L2a1a, defined by coding region mutations at positions 6722 and 12903 and detected in Czechs and Slovaks. Further studies of the nature of African admixture in gene pools of Europeans require the essential enlargement of databases of African complete mitochondrial genomes.



Unknown said...

One has to be extremely careful with the sampling of genetic studies in Europe.
The reason is because there is an influx of many foreign immigrants that very easily and quickly acquire the citizenship of the state which hosts them.
Thus in a sampling of e.g. Italians, Polish, etc. might infiltrate individuals who might be "Italians" or "Polish" in the papers and hence accepted in the sampling but who they are not really i.e. genetically Italian or Polish!!!
It is another thing to be an Ethnic Italian or Polish than to be simply an Italian or Polish citizen!!!
Geneticists should be extremely careful in their sampling and a good thought would have been to ask to see the surnames of the various candidates along with their citizenship!
That way they will reassure that their sampling is a real ethnic sample and not a caricature!!!

groupThink said...

Dude I don't think their that stupid. These studies are carefully conducted .

pconroy said...

Is it possible that Gypsies, who spend a long time in Iran on their way to Europe, picked up some African genes from the Makrani people of Southern Iran?

Of course this wouldn't explain genes of West African origin, for these as well as immigration from Iberia, one could look to the Vikings I suspect?

Polak said...

These scientists usually test people who have four grandparents of that chosen ethnicity.

And yeah, a few years ago during construction work in Poland some Gothic skeletons were found. One of the skeletons was a partly Negroid young male, and buried with the women.

Crimson Guard said...

Probably more likely the Turkish presence in that part of Europe and their slave dealings with the Slavs and Germanics.

UncleTomRuckusInGoodWhiteWorld said...

I would agree with Crimson...actually I would go a step further and say that, it is well documented various Russian Czars (maybe starting with Peter The Great) purchased black slave children from the Turks to have in his court. One of those children, Gannibal became a military leader in Russia, and his grandson was Pushkin.

I'm sure he was not the only one, and I'm sure they were not all males.

I am not sure if Polish/Lithuanians also brought in black in this way to their kingdom...but it is quite possible. IT was a type of "fad" in Europe for about 100 years in various royal courts.

It appears these children were educated and cared for (at least in Russia) and most of them had some privledges as adults, so the liklihood they had a lot of offspring is not unreasonable.

UncleTomRuckusInGoodWhiteWorld said...

More on Gannibal, but he was thought to be Ethiopian...not West African.