Paternal and maternal DNA lineages reveal a bottleneck in the founding of the Finnish population.

Sajantila A, Salem AH, Savolainen P, Bauer K, Gierig C, Paabo S.

Zoological Institute, University of Munich, Germany.

An analysis of Y-chromosomal haplotypes in several European populations reveals an almost monomorphic pattern in the Finns, whereas Y-chromosomal diversity is significantly higher in other populations. Furthermore, analyses of nucleotide positions in the mitochondrial control region that evolve slowly show a decrease in genetic diversity in Finns. Thus, relatively few men and women have contributed the genetic lineages that today survive in the Finnish population. This is likely to have caused the so-called "Finnish disease heritage"-i.e., the occurrence of several genetic diseases in the Finnish population that are rare elsewhere. A preliminary analysis of the mitochondrial mutations that have accumulated subsequent to the bottleneck suggests that it occurred about 4000 years ago, presumably when populations using agriculture and animal husbandry arrived in Finland.


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''However, during the process of colonization, Finns seem to
have interacted closely with the resident Saami population as
judged from genetic admixture detected in the Finns (3, 24, 25)
and from the putative language change in which the Finns
acquired a precursory form of their present language from the
Saami''