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Keywords:

  • Alu insertion;
  • Anatolian population;
  • admixture;
  • Turkic language

Abstract

In the evolutionary history of modern humans, Anatolia acted as a bridge between the Caucasus, the Near East, and Europe. Because of its geographical location, Anatolia was subject to migrations from multiple different regions throughout time. The last, well-known migration was the movement of Turkic speaking, nomadic groups from Central Asia. They invaded Anatolia and then the language of the region was gradually replaced by the Turkic language. In the present study, insertion frequencies of 10 Alu loci (A25 = 0.07, APO = 0.96, TPA25 = 0.44, ACE = 0.37, B65 = 0.57, PV92 = 0.18, FXIIIB = 0.52, D1 = 0.40, HS4.32 = 0.66, and HS4.69 = 0.30) have been determined in the Anatolian population. Together with the data compiled from other databases, the similarity of the Anatolian population to that of the Balkans and Central Asia has been visualized by multidimensional scaling method. Analysis suggested that, genetically, Anatolia is more closely related with the Balkan populations than to the Central Asian populations. Central Asian contribution to Anatolia with respect to the Balkans was quantified with an admixture analysis. Furthermore, the association between the Central Asian contribution and the language replacement episode was examined by comparative analysis of the Central Asian contribution to Anatolia, Azerbaijan (another Turkic speaking country) and their neighbors. In the present study, the Central Asian contribution to Anatolia was estimated as 13%. This was the lowest value among the populations analyzed. This observation may be explained by Anatolia having the lowest migrant/resident ratio at the time of migrations. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.