Ariets Research Blog

May 15, 2009

Ancient R1a1 Siberians ware blue/green eyed

Filed under: Genetics, Indo-Europeans — Ariets @ 2:28 pm

Abstract: In the present study, a multiplexed genotyping assay for ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within six pigmentation candidate genes was developed on modern biological samples and applied to DNA retrieved from 25 archeological human remains from southern central Siberia dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages. SNP genotyping was successful for the majority of ancient samples and revealed that most probably had typical European pigment features, i.e., blue or green eye color, light hair color and skin type, and were likely of European individual ancestry. To our knowledge, this study reports for the first time the multiplexed typing of autosomal SNPs on aged and degraded DNA. By providing valuable information on pigment traits of an individual and allowing individual biogeographical ancestry estimation, autosomal SNP typing can improve ancient DNA studies and aid human identification in some forensic casework situations when used to complement conventional molecular markers.

Source:Pigment phenotype and biogeographical ancestry from ancient skeletal remains: inferences from multiplexed autosomal SNP analysis (link).

Dienekes on that:
This sample was previously tested for Y-chromosome and mtDNA polymorphisms.

The pigmentation-related loci tested can be seen in the labels of my post, which should lead you to some earlier studies on them.triangular_siberian_pigmentationMost individuals were found to be most similar to European than to East Asian or African individuals based on these loci, although some (2 from Andronovo) of them were more similar to East Asians or intermediate (1 from Tagar) between East Asians and Europeans.

Interestingly, 1 of the Andronovo Mongoloids (S07) was previously found to belong to Y chromosome haplogroup C(xC3), while the Caucasoid-Mongoloid individual from Tagar (S32) belonged to haplogroup R1a1.

It should be noted that the use of the term “European individual ancestry” does not mean that these individuals were from Europe, as no test to distinguish between European and Asian Caucasoids was performed, and we know from literary descriptions and occasional archaeological remains about the ancient presence of light-pigmented Caucasoids in Siberia.

From the paper:

The genotype for rs12913832 was obtained for 23 out of the 25 samples, and most had the G/G genotype (n=15), which indicates that at least 60% of ancient specimens were probably blue- or green-eyed individuals. The remaining samples had the A/G (n=5) or A/A (n=3) genotypes, which are predictive of brown eye color phenotype.

(title stolen from Polako :)).

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