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, 22 (10), 1964-75

High-resolution Phylogenetic Analysis of Southeastern Europe Traces Major Episodes of Paternal Gene Flow Among Slavic Populations

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High-resolution Phylogenetic Analysis of Southeastern Europe Traces Major Episodes of Paternal Gene Flow Among Slavic Populations

Marijana Pericić et al. Mol Biol Evol.

Abstract

The extent and nature of southeastern Europe (SEE) paternal genetic contribution to the European genetic landscape were explored based on a high-resolution Y chromosome analysis involving 681 males from seven populations in the region. Paternal lineages present in SEE were compared with previously published data from 81 western Eurasian populations and 5,017 Y chromosome samples. The finding that five major haplogroups (E3b1, I1b* (xM26), J2, R1a, and R1b) comprise more than 70% of SEE total genetic variation is consistent with the typical European Y chromosome gene pool. However, distribution of major Y chromosomal lineages and estimated expansion signals clarify the specific role of this region in structuring of European, and particularly Slavic, paternal genetic heritage. Contemporary Slavic paternal gene pool, mostly characterized by the predominance of R1a and I1b* (xM26) and scarcity of E3b1 lineages, is a result of two major prehistoric gene flows with opposite directions: the post-Last Glacial Maximum R1a expansion from east to west, the Younger Dryas-Holocene I1b* (xM26) diffusion out of SEE in addition to subsequent R1a and I1b* (xM26) putative gene flows between eastern Europe and SEE, and a rather weak extent of E3b1 diffusion toward regions nowadays occupied by Slavic-speaking populations.

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