This entry is a bit redundant because a previous version of this paper (presented as doctoral thesis) was already discussed in length months ago. Let us recall that this study provided the first confirmed (by coding region testing) mtDNA sequence belonging to haplogroup H in Northern Europe prior to the Neolithic*
Clio Der Sarkissian et al., Ancient DNA Reveals Prehistoric Gene-Flow from Siberia in the Complex Human Population History of North East Europe. PLoS Genetics, 2013. Open access → LINK [doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003296]
North East Europe harbors a high diversity of cultures and languages, suggesting a complex genetic history. Archaeological, anthropological, and genetic research has revealed a series of influences from Western and Eastern Eurasia in the past. While genetic data from modern-day populations is commonly used to make inferences about their origins and past migrations, ancient DNA provides a powerful test of such hypotheses by giving a snapshot of the past genetic diversity. In order to better understand the dynamics that have shaped the gene pool of North East Europeans, we generated and analyzed 34 mitochondrial genotypes from the skeletal remains of three archaeological sites in northwest Russia. These sites were dated to the Mesolithic and the Early Metal Age (7,500 and 3,500 uncalibrated years Before Present). We applied a suite of population genetic analyses (principal component analysis, genetic distance mapping, haplotype sharing analyses) and compared past demographic models through coalescent simulations using Bayesian Serial SimCoal and Approximate Bayesian Computation. Comparisons of genetic data from ancient and modern-day populations revealed significant changes in the mitochondrial makeup of North East Europeans through time. Mesolithic foragers showed high frequencies and diversity of haplogroups U (U2e, U4, U5a), a pattern observed previously in European hunter-gatherers from Iberia to Scandinavia. In contrast, the presence of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups C, D, and Z in Early Metal Age individuals suggested discontinuity with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and genetic influx from central/eastern Siberia. We identified remarkable genetic dissimilarities between prehistoric and modern-day North East Europeans/Saami, which suggests an important role of post-Mesolithic migrations from Western Europe and subsequent population replacement/extinctions. This work demonstrates how ancient DNA can improve our understanding of human population movements across Eurasia. It contributes to the description of the spatio-temporal distribution of mitochondrial diversity and will be of significance for future reconstructions of the history of Europeans.
As you may realize, the Sardinian sequences discussed also in the thesis are not part of this paper. Also the emphasis is on the presence of Oriental lineages (C*, C1, C5, D* and Z1a) in North-Eastern Europe prior to the Neolithic, which is, no doubt another element of interest.
|Table 1. Results for mitochondrial DNA typing
Yuzhni Oleni Ostrov is in Karelia,Popovo in Northern Russia and Bol’shoy in Sápmi (Lapland)
The model of genetic continuity between aUzPo and present-day Saami was
found to fit the observed data better than the model of genetic
continuity between aUzPo and present-day NEE.
|Figure 2. Principal Component Analysis of mitochondrial haplogroup frequencies.|