Human Genetics

, Volume 117, Issue 5, pp 428–443 | Cite as

Significant genetic differentiation between Poland and Germany follows present-day political borders, as revealed by Y-chromosome analysis

  • Manfred Kayser
  • Oscar Lao
  • Katja Anslinger
  • Christa Augustin
  • Grazyna Bargel
  • Jeanett Edelmann
  • Sahar Elias
  • Marielle Heinrich
  • Jürgen Henke
  • Lotte Henke
  • Carsten Hohoff
  • Anett Illing
  • Anna Jonkisz
  • Piotr Kuzniar
  • Arleta Lebioda
  • Rüdiger Lessig
  • Slawomir Lewicki
  • Agnieszka Maciejewska
  • Dorota Marta Monies
  • Ryszard Pawłowski
  • Micaela Poetsch
  • Dagmar Schmid
  • Ulrike Schmidt
  • Peter M. Schneider
  • Beate Stradmann-Bellinghausen
  • Reinhard Szibor
  • Rudolf Wegener
  • Marcin Wozniak
  • Magdalena Zoledziewska
  • Lutz Roewer
  • Tadeusz Dobosz
  • Rafal Ploski
Original Investigation

Abstract

To test for human population substructure and to investigate human population history we have analysed Y-chromosome diversity using seven microsatellites (Y-STRs) and ten binary markers (Y-SNPs) in samples from eight regionally distributed populations from Poland (n=913) and 11 from Germany (n=1,215). Based on data from both Y-chromosome marker systems, which we found to be highly correlated (r=0.96), and using spatial analysis of the molecular variance (SAMOVA), we revealed statistically significant support for two groups of populations: (1) all Polish populations and (2) all German populations. By means of analysis of the molecular variance (AMOVA) we observed a large and statistically significant proportion of 14% (for Y-SNPs) and 15% (for Y-STRs) of the respective total genetic variation being explained between both countries. The same population differentiation was detected using Monmonier’s algorithm, with a resulting genetic border between Poland and Germany that closely resembles the course of the political border between both countries. The observed genetic differentiation was mainly, but not exclusively, due to the frequency distribution of two Y-SNP haplogroups and their associated Y-STR haplotypes: R1a1*, most frequent in Poland, and R1*(xR1a1), most frequent in Germany. We suggest here that the pronounced population differentiation between the two geographically neighbouring countries, Poland and Germany, is the consequence of very recent events in human population history, namely the forced human resettlement of many millions of Germans and Poles during and, especially, shortly after World War II. In addition, our findings have consequences for the forensic application of Y-chromosome markers, strongly supporting the implementation of population substructure into forensic Y chromosome databases, and also for genetic association studies.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Kayser
    • 1
  • Oscar Lao
    • 1
  • Katja Anslinger
    • 2
  • Christa Augustin
    • 3
  • Grazyna Bargel
    • 18
  • Jeanett Edelmann
    • 4
  • Sahar Elias
    • 3
  • Marielle Heinrich
    • 5
  • Jürgen Henke
    • 6
  • Lotte Henke
    • 6
  • Carsten Hohoff
    • 5
  • Anett Illing
    • 7
  • Anna Jonkisz
    • 17
  • Piotr Kuzniar
    • 18
  • Arleta Lebioda
    • 17
  • Rüdiger Lessig
    • 4
  • Slawomir Lewicki
    • 18
  • Agnieszka Maciejewska
    • 9
  • Dorota Marta Monies
    • 8
  • Ryszard Pawłowski
    • 9
  • Micaela Poetsch
    • 10
  • Dagmar Schmid
    • 2
  • Ulrike Schmidt
    • 11
  • Peter M. Schneider
    • 12
  • Beate Stradmann-Bellinghausen
    • 12
  • Reinhard Szibor
    • 13
  • Rudolf Wegener
    • 14
  • Marcin Wozniak
    • 15
  • Magdalena Zoledziewska
    • 17
  • Lutz Roewer
    • 16
  • Tadeusz Dobosz
    • 17
  • Rafal Ploski
    • 18
  1. 1.Department of Forensic Molecular Biology, Medical-Genetic Cluster,Erasmus University Medical Center RotterdamDR RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of MuensterMuensterGermany
  6. 6.Institut fuer BlutgruppenforschungCologneGermany
  7. 7.Department for Evolutionary GeneticsMax Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzigGermany
  8. 8.Institute of Forensic MedicineMedical University LublinLublinPoland
  9. 9.Institute of Forensic MedicineMedical University GdañskGdañskPoland
  10. 10.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  11. 11.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  12. 12.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of MainzMainzGermany
  13. 13.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  14. 14.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  15. 15.Institute of Molecular and Forensic Genetics, Collegium MedicumNicolaus Copernicus UniversityBydgoszczPoland
  16. 16.Institute of Legal MedicineCharite—University MedicineBerlinGermany
  17. 17.Institute of Forensic MedicineMedical University WroclawWroclawPoland
  18. 18.Human Molecular Genetics Lab, Departments of Forensic Medicine and PediatricsMedical University WarsawWarsawPoland

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