Croatian genetic heritage: an updated Y-chromosome story

Croat Med J. 2022 Jun 22;63(3):273-286. doi: 10.3325/cmj.2022.63.273.


Aim: To analyze an additional set of ˝Y-chromosome genetic markers to acquire a more detailed insight into the diversity of the Croatian population.

Methods: A total of 518 Yfiler Plus profiles were genotyped. Allele frequencies, haplotype frequencies, and haplotype diversity were calculated by using the STRAF software v. 2.0.4. Genetic distances were quantified by Rst with AMOVA online tool from the YHRD. The evolutionary history was inferred with the neighbor-joining method of phylogenetic tree construction in the MEGAX software. Whit Athey's Haplogroup Predictor v. 5 was used for additional comparison with regional and other European populations.

Results: A total of 507 haplotypes were used for genetic STR analysis. An interpopulation study on 17 Y-STR markers showed the lowest genetic diversity between the Croatian and Bosnian-Herzegovinian populations and the highest between the Croatian and Irish populations. Additional interpopulation comparison with the original 27 Y-STR markers (for the population with available data) was also performed. A total of 518 haplotypes were used in the determination of haplogroup diversity. Haplogroup I with its sublineage I2a expressed the highest prevalence. The second most prevalent haplogroup was R, with its major sublineage R1a, except for the subpopulation of Hvar, where E1b1b was the second most prevalent haplogroup. Rare haplogroups also confirmed in this study were L, T, and Q. G1 was detected for the first time in the Croatian population.

Conclusion: We obtained a new insight into the differences between examined subpopulations of Croatia and their possible (dis)similarities with neighboring and distant populations.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Human, Y* / genetics
  • Croatia
  • Genetic Variation / genetics
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Phylogeny