Each person carries in their body DNA testimony and evidence of the routes taken by their ancestors. This article relates to y-nuclear DNA - the genetic material passed down the male line of descendants, which they receive only from their fathers', as opposed to mtDNA, which is passed down only the mother's side and is received by both sons and daughters.

Author: Marjeta Manfreda Vakar, Ta e-poštni naslov je zaščiten proti smetenju. Potrebujete Javascript za pogled.

There is an updated version of this paper available on http://korenine.si/zborniki/zbornik10/vakar_slo_dnk_bazen.pdf

A large part of human nuclear DNA is comprised of various repetitive DNA sequences, among them short tandem repeats (STR) - nucleotide sequences. It is in the STR loci that individuals differ. Their variability among the population is so great that by researching 13 STR loci we can differentiate between any person, except identical twins, to a scientific certainty, (Katja Drobnič),
Number 6 in one of the STR locus (indicators) represents a six-fold repetition of a sequence of nucleotides - an allele. For example, DYS 390=24 means that a certain sequence of nucleotides is repeated 24 times.
The number of STR loci analysed in the y-nuclear DNA varies. Only a small number of the 140 thousand males in the largest American internet database of such data (www.ysearch.org), which has been publicly accessible since 2000, have had more than 60 of their loci analysed, around 80% of 31 thousand Y-DNA haplotypes from 134 countries in the SMGF database (www.smgf.org), maintained by the Salt Lake City based non-profit organisation of the same name and established in 1999, have had 34 loci analysed, while the German YHRD database(www.yhrd.org) which has been in operation since 2000, gives insight into Y-DNA haplotypes of 65 thousand people from 517 populations (97% have data for 9 loci as of October 2008). Many countries are represented in YHRD with data from multiple locations (Germany 17, Poland 14, Czech Republic 14, Russia 29, and similarly China, Italy, Argentina and Spain), counties with at least 5 locations (Austria, Hungary, Belorussia, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden), and with fewer than 5 (the Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, England, Belgium, France, Switzerland, etc.) while some countries are only represented by their capital (Slovenia, Croatia, Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Yugoslavia is represented with Novi Sad), while in some cases only the country name is listed (Finland, Denmark, Bhutan, Nepal, Armenia, etc.), therefore the data shows only trends and thus provides a general overview. The significance of this lies in the high number of samples from individual cities and areas (Gdansk 939, Ljubljana 180).
The Internet offers a lot of information and commentary, along with publicly accessible tables and graphs with haplotypes (the individual's genetic material) and percentage of genetic groups (similar haplotypes are grouped in the same genetic group) in individual states, areas, and localities. Many of these websites are maintained by lay-persons, but are none the less accurate. Often, individuals would like to take part by giving their name, surname, place of residence and DNA result.

Where can we find data on Slovenian Y-DNA haplotypes?
SMGF stores between 100 to 200 haplotype sequences from all over Slovenia, while there are considerably fewer samples in the Ysearch database, where however the data (DNA sequence often accompanied by the subject's name and surname as well as place of residence) is more quickly and directly accessible. The YHRD database stores 180 anonymous samples, including 121 samples published by Šterlinko et al. in FSI magazine in 2001 (No. 120). I have not yet come across a website where Slovenes would monitor and comment this data with such excitement and clarity as in some Western countries, which are in this respect definitely more developed.

Who are Slovenes then?
Slovenes are the descendants of several peoples. In light of the latest genetic research we have close genetic links mainly with the so-called Western Slavonic group. On the basis of extensive, long term analysis of the values of 9 loci of 312 haplotypes from all the mentioned databases, 86.43% of Slovenes carry male genetic groups (R1a, R1b, I1 - previously I1a, I2a - previously I1b, I2b - previously I1c) which came to Europe or evolved here in the Palaeolithic period, while only 13.45% of Slovenes carry Neolithic and post-Neolithic groups E1b1b - previously E3b, J, G, T, L - previously K2 and H.

R1a: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1a_(Y-DNA)
R1b: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b_(Y-DNA)
I: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_I_(Y-DNA)
I1 (formerly I1a): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I1a
I2a (formerly I1b) and I2b: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I1b
E1b1b (formerly E3b): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_E3b_(Y-DNA)
J2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_J2_(Y-DNA)
G: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_G_(Y-DNA)
L: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_L_(Y-DNA)
H: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_H_(Y-DNA)
T (formerly K2): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_K2_(Y-DNA)
Map mtDNA World: http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/WorldHaplogroupsMaps.pdf
Map y-DNA World and Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Y-chromosome_DNA_haplogroup

Table: share of male genetic groups in Slovenes



In the genetic profile of Slovenes, the I2a and R1a groups prevail. The former is carried by approximately 21.79% and the latter by 37.18% of males. I2a is thought to have emerged in the Adriatic region of the Balkans and was carried throughout Europe after the last Ice Age. Possible areas where R1a emerged around 17 thousand years ago or possibly even earlier are: Northern India, Pakistan, Eastern Iran, Afghanistan, West Caucasus, and the Ukraine. The I2a genetic group is mostly linked to Gravettian culture. Today, this can be mainly found on various Croatian islands (over 60%), in Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, while relatively high proportions are also found in Bulgaria and Belorussia. The R1a1 genetic group is linked, though not exclusively, to the Indo-Arians and Kurgan culture (3000 BC), which has been found in more than 30% of casts in northern India, and is carried by 68% of Ishkashims, by more than 50% of Pashtuns, and is present in Dravidians and among many other Indians, peoples of central and western Asia, as well as mostly east and west Slavs, where it peaks in Sorbs (Germany) and inhabitants of south Lithuania (both record over 60%).

We are a very varied group of people, who share close or less close ancestry with nearly all inhabitants of the world, however within the R1a group north-eastern genetic links prevail, in particular with Poles from Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Krakow; and with Czechs from Karlovy Vary and Prague; with Slovaks from Bratislava; Russians from Novgorod, Vladivostok and Ivanovo; Byelorussians from Mahilyow and with the Gujarat people from Northern India. Albeit not in great numbers, many of the various R1a haplotypes carried by Slovenes have also been noted among Germans from Baden, Chemnitz, Berlin, Brandenburg, Leipzig, as well as among Norwegians.

We share many I2a haplotypes with inhabitants of Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Brest (Belorussia), Zagreb (Croatia), Novi Sad (Yugoslavia), as well as with Romanians, Bosnians and Ukrainians.

In respect of I1 we have links to Danes, Swedes, Fins, Norwegians and to Germans from Muenster, Stuttgart, Berlin, Chemnitz, Leipzig, Munich and Hamburg, as well as to the Swiss and Austrians from Salzburg. The I1 group has two sub-groups. The first sub-group has originally Anglo-Saxon links (this group clearly prevails among Slovenians); while the second sub-group has Nordic links. I found that 10.80% of Slovenes belong to the I1 group.

Together with the Italians, our western neighbours, we share the predominantly western European R1b, mainly with inhabitants of Lombardy, Ravenna and Brescia, while we share the most R1b haplotypes with the Basques, inhabitants of the Pyreneans and northern Spain, the English, Irish, inhabitants of Lombardy in Italy, Brescia, the Dutch, Belgians, inhabitants of northern and central Portugal, Germans from Freiburg and Chemnitz, as well as with Mexicans and many Columbians (due to the genocide of native American Indians performed by European colonizers). I found that 15.70% of Slovenes belong to this group; however Rosser et al (2000) cite a higher figure - 21%. The R1b group has two branches depending on where the carriers settled in the last great Ice Age. They differ in the value at DYS 393. During the Ice Age, a group evolved in Anatolia with DYS 393=12. This can be found today in a high proportion in Armenia. It is called R1b-ht35. Among Slovenes, I found 6 (among 34 R1b) different haplotypes. Other R1b sub-groups evolved from R1b, the carriers of which spent the Ice Age on the Iberian Peninsula.

In addition to the I2a, we share the east African - southern Balkan E1b1 with Macedonians, (probably from the Mesolithic period) as well as the Near-East J2 (Neolithic period and J2b: Bronze Age). In respect of the former (E1b1), we also have ties with Albanians, Bulgarians, Greek Macedonians, while to a lesser degree also to inhabitants of Belgorod (Russia), Italians in Rimini, Sicily, Lombardy, Croatians from Zagreb, inhabitants of Tyrol, Germans from Bonn and Muenster, Belgians from Brussels and Spaniards from Valencia. In respect of the latter (J2) we share the same haplotypes with Belgians, Italians, and inhabitants of Mexico and of Czech Republic, mainly from central Bohemia. I would like to emphasize that the E1b1 and J2 haplotypes are found in central Europe in a significantly lesser degree than in the far south of Europe (Macedonia, Albania, Greece, as well as Serbia and Bulgaria). I found E1b1 among 5.13% of Slovenes, and J2 in 3.20% of Slovenes.

We share the Neolithic G haplotypes mainly with Spaniards from Asturia, Portuguese, Italians and Czechs, Brazilians from Sao Paolo and Venezuelan males. However, I would like to emphasize that there are very few such matches. Only 2.88% of Slovenes carry this group.

The only three Slovenian L haplotypes (1%) are unique, while two of the T (1%) haplotypes have so far been found in Austria, Germany, Italy Argentina and Columbia, while we share the H group (0.34%) with Romani from eastern Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Among Slovenes I found a further 1% belonging to the I2b group, which is originally linked to Western Europe. Two haplotypes are unique, while I found one haplotype in three cases also in Germany and Scandinavia, twice in the Netherlands, England, RSA, Gdansk and Mexico, and in one case also in Switzerland and the USA.


Most frequent SLO Y-DNA haplotypes 2005 - 2008

Slo Y-DNA in the World (countries)

According to new research, the Indo-Arians and ancestors of the Slavs separated eight thousand years ago; and furthermore also the linguistic similarities between the language of the Rigveda written in the area of Punjab (1100-1700 BC) and Slavonic (mainly Slovenian! see: Dr. Snejina Sonina: Roots of the Slovenian nation, 2008) languages, show a deep link between us. The hypothesis that Veneti from Eastern Europe reached India therefore does not stand. The genetic group I is widespread among Slavs, however it is practically non-existent in India and wider Asia (only 1 I2a - Delacrus from Manila, 2x I* - one person with the name Hayes and Philip Ram, 2x I2b - Kennedy from Kazakhstan and Mowla from western Bengal, and 2x I1 - both with the Hamilton surname. The above matches are from the Ysearch.org database. In addition, the male genetic group I was not found by Sanghamitra Sahoo, et al in their 2005 study "A Prehistory of Indian Y chromosomes". From the whole of India, or 77 of its populations, they gathered 936 samples and only 0.86% were of the E, I, G, J* and R1* groups). Interestingly, Slovenes and Indians included in the researched sample only share haplotypes of the R1a group. 37.18% of Slovenes carry 57 different R1a haplotypes and 24 of those are common to Indians. Consequently, around 23.48% of Slovenes carry the same R1a haplotypes as Indians. We have the closest relation to the Gurayati from Himachal Pradesh and especially inhabitants of the neighbouring Punjab (Jat Sikh). As many as 14.81% of the latter carry five "Slovene" haplotypes, which were all also found in 11.58% of inhabitants of Bratislava (Slovenia: 8.97%), in 6.08% of inhabitants of Vladivostok at the far east of Russia, 5.35% of inhabitants of Bydgoszcz, 4.47% of Gdansk, 3.93% in Indo-Pakistanis in England, and in 3.19% of inhabitants of Prague. Of the 5 haplotypes mentioned , as many as 4 were listed among 20 of the most frequent haplotypes in the Punjab and in Bratislava. From the linguistic point of view, according to Vinko Vodopivec, Slovak is the most comparable to Slovenian in terms of the number of words, and he views Slovenian to be the oldest Slavonic language (Korenine slovenskega naroda, 2004).

"Slovenian" R1a haplotypes, found also among Indians.



In Slovenia 312 people in the analysis carry 183 different basic (9 loci) haplotypes. Among them, 116 carry 57 R1a haplotypes. Of these, 73 (23,40% Slovenians) carry 24 R1a haplotypes, also found among the Indian population.



Presence of R1a haplotypes which Slovenes share with Indians and also with other World populations

It is unquestionable that Slovenes are the descendants of different peoples, originating from a common African ancestor 200 thousand years ago. We therefore carry genes of the first humans with the R1a mutation which occurred somewhere between the Ukraine and the Indian sub-continent as the common ancestor of Slavs and Indo-Arians as well as Palaeolithic natives to the Balkans, the older Cro-Magnons and later Celtic tribes that evolved from them, as well as the Germanic tribes and their descendants, not to forget Anatolian farmers and southern-Balkan settlers from the Bronze Age and Ancient Times. There is perhaps a deeper blood link between the ancient Veneti along the amber route and today's Slovenes. The fact remains that in terms of the male genetic line, Slovenes and today's inhabitants of regions mentioned above in Poland and Germany, the Vistula valley, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and even to a relatively high degree Novgorod (for other common points, see Bruno Volpa Lisjak's book: "Čupa, prvo slovensko plovilo in drevaki") and Vladivostok (in R1a) are interestingly related.

Our history lies in our genes. Let's explore it!