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Thread: Genetic Structure of Europeans: A View from the North–East

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    Genetic Structure of Europeans: A View from the North–East

    Abstract

    Using principal component (PC) analysis, we studied the genetic constitution of 3,112 individuals from Europe as portrayed by more than 270,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped with the Illumina Infinium platform. In cohorts where the sample size was >100, one hundred randomly chosen samples were used for analysis to minimize the sample size effect, resulting in a total of 1,564 samples. This analysis revealed that the genetic structure of the European population correlates closely with geography. The first two PCs highlight the genetic diversity corresponding to the northwest to southeast gradient and position the populations according to their approximate geographic origin. The resulting genetic map forms a triangular structure with a) Finland, b) the Baltic region, Poland and Western Russia, and c) Italy as its vertexes, and with d) Central- and Western Europe in its centre. Inter- and intra- population genetic differences were quantified by the inflation factor lambda (λ) (ranging from 1.00 to 4.21), fixation index (Fst) (ranging from 0.000 to 0.023), and by the number of markers exhibiting significant allele frequency differences in pair-wise population comparisons. The estimated lambda was used to assess the real diminishing impact to association statistics when two distinct populations are merged directly in an analysis. When the PC analysis was confined to the 1,019 Estonian individuals (0.1% of the Estonian population), a fine structure emerged that correlated with the geography of individual counties. With at least two cohorts available from several countries, genetic substructures were investigated in Czech, Finnish, German, Estonian and Italian populations. Together with previously published data, our results allow the creation of a comprehensive European genetic map that will greatly facilitate inter-population genetic studies including genome wide association studies (GWAS).
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0005472

    From the study:


    The study proves once again the general gradients of Europe and how close the populations are together, while still the national samples show a clear distribution.

    Outliers are, going after this study, primarily the Finns, secondarily Southern Italians. Estonians and Swedes deviate somewhat in the direction of the Finns (while being still closest to other Germanics!), due to their Finno-Ugric/Uralic/Osteuropid influences in my opinion, while Finns themselves can be classified in the Southern part, which is closer to Central Europeans and more Nordoid typologically, and a Northern part, being rather isolated in the European context, with low diversity and high LD.
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    Kuusamo is in the northeast of Finland. A lot of the population there likely has at least some Sami ancestry, even if they are settled and Finnish (Suomi) speaking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhobot View Post
    Kuusamo is in the northeast of Finland. A lot of the population there likely has at least some Sami ancestry, even if they are settled and Finnish (Suomi) speaking.
    The other option is that those Finns have a stronger portion of the original Finno-Ugrian core group of the region, while the Southern ones have stronger proportions of more classic Europid, Indoeuropean/Germanic variants which were just assimilated at a certain time. The Finno-Swedes are well known, but there were also other influences, Corded Ware and related groups might have been, at least in Finnland, being Finnicised, like Finno-Ugrians were Slavicised by Russians later...
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    Very few people are at the foundation of the Finnish population. According to this piece, the Uralic element was strong enough to remain at its core, with the Swedish and other "Southerners" being later arrivals or 'overlays' as depected in what is assumed as "Fenno-Swedes.". (even the Neolithic European makes a small but notiocable appeance!) Certainly the unique "Finnish Disease History" attests to an isolated hybrid:

    http://www.findis.org/main.php?action=disease

    The demographic history of Finland is typical of many isolates. A small number of original founders, subsequent isolation, rapid expansion and major bottlenecks have allowed genetic drift to mould the gene pool. The vast majority of Finns descend from two immigration waves occurring about 4,000 and 2,000 years ago. The earlier wave involved eastern Uralic speakers, and the later wave, Indo-European speakers from the south. Both Y-chromosomal haplotypes and mitochondrial sequences show the low genetic diversity among Finns compared with other European populations and confirm the long-standing isolation of Finland. The size of the founding population(s) is unknown, but as late as the twelfth century, the population of Finland was only about 50,000, as shown in the top figure. It reached 400,000 by the mid-seventeenth century, only to experience the great famine of 1696–1698, where one third of the population perished. Since then, the Finnish population has grown relatively rapidly from 250,000 at the beginning of the eighteenth century to its present figure of 5,100,000.

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