Keywords: Y-chromosome Polymorphisms; Kazakh Populations; Tribal-clan structure
Authors: M. Zhabagin1,2, Z. Sabitov3, H. Dibirova4, E. Balanovska4, I. Zakharov2, O. Balanovsky2; 1Center for Life Sciences, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan, 2Vavilov Institute of General Genetics RAS, Moscow, Russian Federation, 3Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Astana, Kazakhstan, 4Research Centre of Medical Genetics RAMS, Moscow, Russian Federation.
Abstract: The characteristic feature of the Kazakh nomadic society was the presence of a hierarchically organized and widely branched tribal-clan structure called “Shezhire”, which reflected complex system of ethno-social organization. In the context of the Shezhire, Kazakh populations are divided into three ethno-territorial association of tribes called "Zhuz" (Great, Middle, and Small Zhuzes) and a group of aristocratic tribes (Tore, Kozha, Sunak).
This study aims to compare Y-chromosomal polymorphism of three Kazakh Zhuzs and group of aristocratic tribes (total sample size N= 1407). We analyzed 40 SNP and 17 STR Y-chromosomal markers. Summary statistics were calculated using Arlequin 3.5. Neighbor-joining tree was constructed by the program MEGA 5.0. Multidimensional scaling plot was drawn by the software package Statistica v.7.1.
Population pairwise FST values were calculated from the Y-chromosomal haplogroup frequencies to assess the genetic similarity among studied groups of Kazakh tribes. The most distant ones were the tribe of Sunak and the Small Zhuz (0.393), whereas the shortest distance was found between the tribe of Tore and the Great Zhuz (0,021). These genetic distances are associated with the geographic distances between studied populations. The distribution of Y-chromosomal haplogroups is strongly correlated with the tribal-clan structure of Kazakhs. Presence of certain haplogroups at high frequency at particular tribes is in favor to the hypothesis that many tribes go back to one biological founder, confirming the link between Kazakh family tree Shezhire with the genetic composition.