Varzari, Alexander; Kharkov, Vladimir; Nikitin, Alexey G.; Raicu, Florina; Simonova, Kseniya; Stephan, Wolfgang; Weiss, Elisabeth H.; Stepanov, Vadim
(16. January 2013):
Paleo-Balkan and Slavic Contributions to the Genetic Pool of Moldavians. Insights from the Y Chromosome.
In: PLoS One
Moldova has a rich historical and cultural heritage, which may be reflected in the current genetic makeup of its population.
To date, no comprehensive studies exist about the population genetic structure of modern Moldavians. To bridge this gap
with respect to paternal lineages, we analyzed 37 binary and 17 multiallelic (STRs) polymorphisms on the non-recombining
portion of the Y chromosome in 125 Moldavian males. In addition, 53 Ukrainians from eastern Moldova and 54 Romanians
from the neighboring eastern Romania were typed using the same set of markers. In Moldavians, 19 Y chromosome
haplogroups were identified, the most common being I-M423 (20.8%), R-M17* (17.6%), R-M458 (12.8%), E-v13 (8.8%), RM269*
and R-M412* (both 7.2%). In Romanians, 14 haplogroups were found including I-M423 (40.7%), R-M17* (16.7%), RM405
(7.4%), E-v13 and R-M412* (both 5.6%). In Ukrainians, 13 haplogroups were identified including R-M17 (34.0%), I-M423
(20.8%), R-M269* (9.4%), N-M178, R-M458 and R-M73 (each 5.7%). Our results show that a significant majority of the
Moldavian paternal gene pool belongs to eastern/central European and Balkan/eastern Mediterranean Y lineages.
Phylogenetic and AMOVA analyses based on Y-STR loci also revealed that Moldavians are close to both eastern/central
European and Balkan-Carpathian populations. The data correlate well with historical accounts and geographical location of
the region and thus allow to hypothesize that extant Moldavian paternal genetic lineages arose from extensive recent
admixture between genetically autochthonous populations of the Balkan-Carpathian zone and neighboring Slavic groups