Friday, June 26, 2015
Genetic substructures among Late Neolithic/Bronze Age Scandinavians
I may have discovered an interesting pattern in the Allentoft et al. data. It seems that during the Late Neolithic/Bronze Age, Scandinavia was populated by two somewhat different populations; one characterized by Y-Chromosome haplogroup R1b and a genome-wide genetic structure typical of present-day Northwestern Europeans, and another by Y-Chromosome haplogroup R1a and a relatively more eastern genome-wide genetic profile.
Below are two Principal Component Analyses (PCA), both featuring ancient Swedish genomes classified as part of the Late Neolithic Battle-Axe archeological culture. However, the first sample clusters near present-day Norwegians and belongs to Y-haplogroup R1b-U106, which is nowadays typically known as a Germanic paternal marker. On the other hand, the second sample clusters among present-day Russians and Mordovians, from all the way near the Volga, and belongs to Y-haplogroup R1a-Z645, which very likely expanded from Eastern Europe during the Late Neolithic.
Here's another example of basically the same thing, but this time with two ancient genomes from Denmark. If you're having trouble finding the ancient samples, download the PDF files and type their IDs in the PDF search field.
Coincidence? Probably not, but we obviously need more samples to confirm these results and establish that there is indeed a pattern.
Allentoft et al., Bronze Age population dynamics, selection, and the formation of Eurasian genetic structure, Nature 522, 167–172 (11 June 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14507