Apr 22, 2015

The genetic legacy of the expansion of Turkic-speaking nomads across Eurasia

PLoS Genetics
Bayazit YunusbayevRichard Villems

Abstract

The Turkic peoples represent a diverse collection of ethnic groups defined by the Turkic languages. These groups have dispersed across a vast area, including Siberia, Northwest China, Central Asia, East Europe, the Caucasus, Anatolia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. The origin and early dispersal history of the Turkic peoples is disputed, with candidates for their ancient homeland ranging from the Transcaspian steppe to Manchuria in Northeast Asia. Previous genetic studies have not identified a clear-cut unifying genetic signal for the Turkic peoples, which lends support for language replacement rather than demic diffusion as the model for the Turkic language's expansion. We addressed the genetic origin of 373 individuals from 22 Turkic-speaking populations, representing their current geographic range, by analyzing genome-wide high-density genotype data. In agreement with the elite dominance model of language expansion most of the Turkic peoples studied genetically resemble their geographic neighbors. However, western Turkic peoples sampled across West Eurasia shared an excess of long chromosomal tracts that are identical by descent (IBD) with populations from present-day South Siberia and Mongolia (SSM), an area where histor...Continue Reading

  • References38
  • Citations28

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Genome-Wide Association Study
Matching Test
Y Chromosome
Methyl Green
Tract
DNA, Mitochondrial
Hemoglobin J Anatolia
Historical Events, 17th Century
Dysequilibrium Syndrome
Genetics, Population

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