The peopling of modern Bosnia-Herzegovina: Y-chromosome haplogroups in the three main ethnic groups

Ann Hum Genet. 2005 Nov;69(Pt 6):757-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2005.00190.x.


The variation at 28 Y-chromosome biallelic markers was analysed in 256 males (90 Croats, 81 Serbs and 85 Bosniacs) from Bosnia-Herzegovina. An important shared feature between the three ethnic groups is the high frequency of the "Palaeolithic" European-specific haplogroup (Hg) I, a likely signature of a Balkan population re-expansion after the Last Glacial Maximum. This haplogroup is almost completely represented by the sub-haplogroup I-P37 whose frequency is, however, higher in the Croats (approximately 71%) than in Bosniacs (approximately 44%) and Serbs (approximately 31%). Other rather frequent haplogroups are E (approximately 15%) and J (approximately 7%), which are considered to have arrived from the Middle East in Neolithic and post-Neolithic times, and R-M17 (approximately 14%), which probably marked several arrivals, at different times, from eastern Eurasia. Hg E, almost exclusively represented by its subclade E-M78, is more common in the Serbs (approximately 20%) than in Bosniacs (approximately 13%) and Croats (approximately 9%), and Hg J, observed in only one Croat, encompasses approximately 9% of the Serbs and approximately 12% of the Bosniacs, where it shows its highest diversification. By contrast, Hg R-M17 displays similar frequencies in all three groups. On the whole, the three main groups of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in spite of some quantitative differences, share a large fraction of the same ancient gene pool distinctive for the Balkan area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina / ethnology*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y*
  • DNA Primers
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Gene Pool*
  • Haplotypes*
  • Humans
  • Male


  • DNA Primers