Keywords: mitochondrial DNA; molecular phylogeography; molecular evolution
Authors: B. Malyarchuk1, M. Derenko1, T. Grzybowski2, M. Perkova1, G. Denisova1, A. Litvinov1, U. Rogalla2, K. Skonieczna2; 1Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Magadan, Russian Federation, 2Institute of Forensic Medicine, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Abstract: To resolve the phylogeny of some uncommon and poorly studied West Eurasian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups, we sequenced 32 U2e and 19 U3 complete mitogenomes of Central and Eastern Europeans (Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians) and re-analysed the available at the present time data on 74 U2e and 80 U3 complete mtDNAs. Molecular dating suggests that the coalescence time estimates are ~21 and ~35 thousand years (ky) for haplogroups U2e and U3, respectively. Detailed analysis of about 500 Slavic complete mitogenomes belonging to different haplogroups allowed us to identify a number of lineages that seem specific for Central and Eastern Europe (U3b1b, U4a2a1, U5a2a1c, U2e1b1a, U2e1b1, U3a1a, H5a1f, U5a1a1a1, U5a1c1, U2e2a1a, U4a2a, H5a2, U2e2a1d and U5a1b1b). These subhaplogroups consist of similar haplotypes revealed in different ethnic groups of modern Slavs, thereby proving the existence of ethnolinguistic community of Slavs through DNA testing. Evolutionary age of Slavic-specific subhaplogroups is calculated to approximately 3.9 ky (from 2.3 to 5.9 ky, according to the mutation rate proposed by Soares et al. (2009) for the entire mtDNA molecule). This indicates that the ancestors of modern Slavs inhabited areas of Central and Eastern Europe from the times of Bronze and Iron Ages, i.e. earlier than it was estimated on the basis of archaeological, historical and linguistic data. This study was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant 14-04-00131) and the Program of Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences (grant 12-I-P30-12).