Y-STR variation in Albanian populations: implications on the match probabilities and the genetic legacy of the minority claiming an Egyptian descent


Y chromosome variation at 12 STR (the Powerplex® Y system core set) and 18 binary markers was investigated in two major (the Ghegs and the Tosks) and two minor (the Gabels and the Jevgs) populations from Albania (Southern Balkans). The large proportion of haplotypes shared within and between groups makes the Powerplex 12-locus set inadequate to ensure a suitable power of discrimination for the forensic practice. At least 85% of Y lineages in the Jevgs, the cultural minority claiming an Egyptian descent, turned out to be of either Roma or Balkan ancestry. They also showed unequivocal signs of a common genetic history with the Gabels, the other Albanian minority practising social and cultural Roma traditions.

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We thank all DNA donors and those who made possible the contacts with Albanian communities, in particular Mrs. Nirvana Radheshi. The authors would also like to thank Francesca Ferrari of the Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Diagnostic and Laboratory Service and Legal Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, for her efforts with this research.

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Correspondence to Gianmarco Ferri.

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Gianmarco Ferri and Sergio Tofanelli contributed equally to the paper.

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Table S1

Haplotype and haplogroup frequency distribution of the 12 Y-STRs and SNPs in four Albanian populations (PDF 16 kb)

Table S2

Haplotype sharing (HS), statistical significance of pairwise R ST distances, and haplotype diversity (HD) for seven and 12 Y-STR loci in the examined Albanians and other European populations (XLS 44 kb)

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Ferri, G., Tofanelli, S., Alù, M. et al. Y-STR variation in Albanian populations: implications on the match probabilities and the genetic legacy of the minority claiming an Egyptian descent. Int J Legal Med 124, 363–370 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-010-0432-x

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  • Albania
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Y chromosome lineages
  • Y-SNP haplogroups
  • Y-STR haplotypes