Y-chromosome haplogroup N dispersals from south Siberia to Europe
In order to reconstruct the history of Y-chromosome haplogroup (hg) N dispersals in north Eurasia, we have analyzed the diversity of microsatellite (STR) loci within two major hg N clades, N2 and N3, in a total sample of 1,438 males from 17 ethnic groups, mainly of Siberian and Eastern European origin. Based on STR variance analysis we observed that hg N3a is more diverse in Eastern Europe than in south Siberia. However, analysis of median networks showed that there are two STR subclusters of hg N3a, N3a1 and N3a2, that are characterized by different genetic histories. Age calculation of STR variation within subcluster N3a1 indicated that its first expansion occurred in south Siberia [approximately 10,000 years (ky)] and then this subcluster spread into Eastern Europe where its age is around 8 ky ago. Meanwhile, younger subcluster N3a2 originated in south Siberia (probably in the Baikal region) approximately 4 ky ago. Median network and variance analyses of STR haplotypes suggest that south Siberian N3a2 haplotypes spread further into Volga-Ural region undergoing serial bottlenecks. In addition, median network analysis of STR data demonstrates that haplogroup N2-A is represented by two subclusters, showing recent expansion times. The data obtained allow us to suggest Siberian origin of haplogroups N3 and N2 that are currently widespread in some populations of Eastern Europe.