Author: Zakharov

Source: Vavilov Institute Russian Genetics

MITOCHONDRIAL DNA VARIATION IN RUSSIANS, UKRAINIANS AND IRANIANS. B. Malyarchuk1, G. Denisova1, M. Derenko1, I. Zakharov2. 1) Genetics Lab., Institute of Biological Probl. of the North, Magadan, Russia; 2) Genetics Lab., Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Moscow, Russia.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphism in 50 Russians and 38 Ukrainians was examined by RFLP analysis and hypervariable segment I (HVS I) sequencing. Together, the Russians and Ukrainians were found to have mtDNAs belonging to nine haplogroups (H, V, T, J, U, K, I, W, X) observed in all European populations. The data received were combined with those available for other European populations and subjected to analysis of shared haplotypes distribution. It was found that the Russians and Ukrainians exhibited a high portion of identical or similar haplotypes in relation to those observed in other Europeans. On the level of rare haplotypes, the Russians were more closely linked to German and Finno-Ugric populations. For instance, subhaplogroup H1 mtDNAs were found in common only between Russians and German-speaking populations. It has been proposed by archaeologists and anthropologists (Alekseeva, 1973; Sedov, 1979), that modern Ukrainians were formed on the basis of Iranic tribes inhabited the Pontic steppes and Slavonic tribes who expanded there from Central Europe approximately 1500 years ago. To estimate the possible Iranic contribution in the gene pool of the Ukrainians, mtDNA variation of 25 Iranians collected from various regions of Iran was examined by RFLP analysis. It was found that Iranian mitochondrial gene pool is represented by West Eurasian haplogroups T (12%), J (12%), U (16%), K (4%), W (12%), I (4%) and additional lineages. However, haplogroup H, which encompasses 40% of the Ukrainian mtDNAs, is virtually absent in Iranians, as well as in Indians. The East Asian-specific macrohaplogroup M sequences were observed in 8% of Iranians. In addition, 9-bp deletion in region V on the background of +10394DdeI/-10397AluI and -10394DdeI/-10397AluI haplotypes was found in 8% of Iranians studied. The data received allow us to conclude that the modern Ukrainians appear to be closer to the European populations, than to West Asian ones. This work was supported by the Russian Fund for Basic Research (grant 00-06-80448).