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Thread: Prehistoric Swedes genetically most similar to modern Poles

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    Default Prehistoric Swedes genetically most similar to modern Poles

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidski

    A paper published in Science today shows that three, 5,000-year-old Neolithic hunter gatherer individuals from Gotland - tested with around 10,000 genome-wide SNPs - shared most alleles with modern Polish individuals. On the other hand, a Neolithic farmer from southwestern Sweden, from about the same period, showed greatest affinity to modern Cypriots and Greeks. However, the farmer was also more similar to modern Poles than to modern Swedes. The figure below illustrates this very clearly.


    Indeed, if we look at the STRUCTURE analysis, it shows that the farmer was genetically a lot like a modern Sardinian, or Oetzi the Iceman (see here), albeit with more North European admixture.


    So I think it's pretty clear we're dealing here with an individual of mostly deep East Mediterranean origin, who's ancestors made their way from West Asia to Europe via maritime routes (settling islands like Sardinia in the process), and then to Scandinavia via Western and Central Europe. They probably picked up their minority, although substantial, Northern European admixture in what is now Germany or Scandinavia. Of course, the other option is that the Mediterranean farmers went straight to Scandinavia by boat.

    The question Swedes will be asking is, why are Poles from across the Baltic more similar to both their prehistoric hunter gatherers and farmers than they are? Firstly, it's important to realize that the differences aren't that great. Note, for instance, that Swedes are the second most similar population to the ancient hunter gatherers after Poles (see here). However, clearly, the data suggests that there had to be other population movements into Scandinavia after the late Neolithic. These also affected Poland, but to a lesser degree.

    No one yet knows exactly what these were, but if I had to take a guess, I'd say the Bell Beaker folk of the Copper Age represented one of the major waves (see figure below and here). Also, another factor might be that the hunter gatherers tested by Skoglund et al. belonged to the Pitted Ware culture, which arrived in Scandinavia from the Eastern Baltic.


    Anyway, on a personal level, I'm absolutely delighted with the results from this study. The reason is that it correlates very closely with the experiments I've been running with ADMIXTURE, aimed at untangling the history of the peopling of Europe using modern genomes. Note, for instance, the close correlation between the STRUCTURE plot above, and the results from my Hunter Gatherer vs. Farmer analysis (see here). All you have to do, is to add up the blue and purple components from the STRUCTURE graph, and you'll basically get my "Baltic hunter gatherer" cluster. Also, the orange component is obviously very similar to my "Mediterranean farmer" cluster.

    Obviously, if Skoglund et al. had more prehistoric samples, then these would create their own clusters. However, these clusters would be closely related to the clusters formed by modern samples. We know this by looking at the PCA results from the study, like below.


    So the fact that the three hunter gatherers mostly fall into the North European/Finnish clusters (and thus show a high correlation with my Baltic hunter gatherer cluster) and the farmer mostly into the Sardinian cluster (thus showing a high correlation with my Mediterranean cluster) aren't simply artifacts of poor sampling and methodology.

    On a related note, a version of my Hunter Gatherer vs. Farmer test will be available at Gedmatch shortly. So please check it out when it's ready, which should be soon.

    Reference...

    Skoglund et al., Origins and Genetic Legacy of Neolithic Farmers and Hunter-Gatherers in Europe, Science 27 April 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6080 pp. 466-469 DOI: 10.1126/science.1216304
    http://polishgenes.blogspot.com.au/2...netically.html


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    Are you saying I'm more Swedish than Swedes?

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    Are Swedes genetically closer to Poles than Norwegians are?

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    Polako proves himself right after all these years ... this time with concrete genetic backup. A visionary, that man was/is.
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    It's not a surprise to me.

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    Makes sense because they were a Baltic people ie. they had a majority of Baltic Hunter Gatherer genes before the major influx of Mediterranean genes came in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOne View Post
    Makes sense because they were a Baltic people ie. they had a majority of Baltic Hunter Gatherer genes before the major influx of Mediterranean genes came in.

    Swedes = wogified Balts

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    From the paper:

    We found that compared to a worldwide set of 1,638 individuals (21-23), all four Neolithic individuals clustered within European variation (Fig. S5). However, when focusing the analysis on 505 individuals of European and Levantine descent, the three Neolithic hunter gatherers appeared largely outside the distribution of the modern sample, but in the vicinity of Finnish and northern European individuals (Fig. 1A). In contrast, the Neolithic farmer clustered with southern Europeans, but was differentiated from Levantine individuals. This general pattern persisted for a geographically broader reference data set of 1,466 extant individuals of European ancestry (22, 24) (Fig. 1B), for a much larger number of markers from 241 individuals in the 1000 genomes project (25) (Fig. 1C), and using model-based clustering (26, 27) (Fig. 1D). Although all Neolithic individuals were excavated in Sweden, neither the Neolithic farmer nor the Neolithic hunter-gatherers appeared to cluster specifically within Swedish variation, a pattern that remained also for a larger sample of 1,525 individuals from across Sweden (28) (Fig. S9, Fig.S21-22).

    In our genomic analyses, the Scandinavian Neolithic hunter-gatherers (PWC) have a genetic profile that is not fully represented by any sampled contemporary population (Fig. 1), and may thus constitute a gene pool that is no longer intact or that no longer exists. While the origin of the Neolithic hunter-gatherers is contentious, the similar mtDNA haplogroup composition of PWC individuals (8) (Table 1) and Mesolithic- and Paleolithic individuals (7, 29) indicate some continuity with earlier European populations, but resolving this hypothesis will require pre-Neolithic genomic data.

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    We, the North Spanish , always conquistando. Alpha blood.
    Last edited by Lábaru; 05-07-2012 at 03:38 AM.

    Espada tengo. Lo demás, Dios lo remedie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepytigers View Post
    Are Swedes genetically closer to Poles than Norwegians are?
    Yes. FST-distances from Heath et al. 2008:
    Sweden - Poland: 23
    Norway - Poland: 34
    Sweden - Norway: 10

    They are all practically the same circum-Baltic population! Compare the distance within Finns (Salmela et al. 2011):
    South Ostrobothnia - Kainuu: 65

    But then:
    West Finns - Sweden: 30
    West Finns - Russia: 34
    Sweden - Russia: 41

    East Finns - West Finns: 30
    East Finns - Sweden: 72
    East Finns - Russia: 69

    From Nelis et al. 2009:
    Sweden - Lithuania: 40
    Sweden - Latvia: 50

    So I must develop further this Pallantidesism:
    "Swedes = wogified Poles"

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