Mitochondrial DNA variability in Bosnians and Slovenians

Ann Hum Genet. 2003 Sep;67(Pt 5):412-25. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-1809.2003.00042.x.


Mitochondrial DNA variability in two Slavonic-speaking populations of the northwestern Balkan peninsula, Bosnians (N = 144) and Slovenians (N = 104), was studied by hypervariable segments I and II (HVS I and II) sequencing and restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the mtDNA coding region. The majority of the mtDNA detected in Southern Slavonic populations falls into the common West Eurasian mitochondrial haplogroups (e.g., H, pre-V, J, T, U, K, I, W, and X). About 2% of the Bosnian mtDNAs encompass East Eurasian and African lineages (e.g., M and L1b, respectively). The distribution of mtDNA subclusters in Bosnians, Slovenians and the neighbouring European populations reveals that the common genetic substratum characteristic for Central and Eastern European populations (such as Germans, Poles, Russians and Finns) penetrates also South European territories as far as the Western Balkans. However, the observed differentiation between Bosnian and Slovenian mtDNAs suggests that at least two different migration waves of the Slavs may have reached the Balkans in the early Middle Ages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • DNA, Mitochondrial*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Slovenia


  • DNA, Mitochondrial