HLA molecular markers in Tuvinians: a population with both Oriental and Caucasoid characteristics


J. MARTINEZ-LASO2, M. SARTAKOVA2, L. ALLENDE2, V. KONENKOV1, J. MOSCOSO, C. SILVERA-REDONDO, A. PACHO, J. TRAPAGA, E. GOMEZ-CASADO and A. ARNAIZ-VILLENA

HLA class I and class II alleles have been studied for the first time in the Turkish-speaking Tuvinian population, which lives in Russia, North of Mongolia and close to the Altai mountains. Comparisons have been done with about 11000 chromosomes from other worldwide populations, and extended haplotypes, genetic distances, neighbor joining dendrograms and correspondence analyses have been calculated. Tuvinians show an admixture of Mongoloid and Caucasoid characters, the latter probably coming from the ancient Kyrgyz background or, less feasibly, more recent Russian Caucasoid admixture. However, Siberian population traits are not found and thus Tuvinians are closer to Central Asian populations. Siberians are more related to Na-Dene and Eskimo American Indians; Amerindians (from nowadays Iberian-America) are not related to any other group, including Pacific Islanders, Siberians or other American Indians. The 'more than one wave' model for the peopling of the Americas is supported.