Friday, June 01, 2012

Autosomal DNA SNP Population Results

According to the autosomal SNP genetic analysis I had done through Family Tree DNA, I am 87.06% (blue) Western European (my specific subpopulations - French, Orcadian-Scotland's Orkney Islands, Spanish) and 12.94% (orange) from other areas of Europe (my specific subpopulations - Tuscan, Finnish, Romanian, Russian, Sardinian).

I have no appreciable genetic links to ancient Basque or Italian populations by autosomal SNP analysis (although I do have links to the Italian peninsula through ancient Tuscany). Sweden and Norway are not part of the reference populations (see map), so it may be that the SNP population data for these two areas are still under scientific development (autosomal SNP genetic analysis is still developing its population databases I think).

Even as a developing method of ancestral analysis (in contrast to autosomal STR ancestral analysis), I suppose these autosomal SNP ancestral analysis results are in general agreement with the autosomal STR genetic results in that they also report that my genetic ancestry is largely Celtic (originating in Scotland's Orkney Islands with the ancient Picts) and then later Scandinavian (likely originating in Finland, which has a history intimately intertwined with Russia, Norway and Sweden).

Ancient Pictish history is tied to both the Celtic and Scandinaivian peoples. Also importantly, the ancient Neolithic Picts themselves originally came from the Iberian Peninsula (which is Mediteranean and explains Spain). Before that, they came from North Africa.

Sardinia and Tuscany are near and in the Italian Peninsula, but are distinct populations from Italy proper (see reference populations on map). In prehistorical times, Tuscany lost territory to the Celts, so it is likely some ancient Etruscan Tuscans simply got absorbed into the Celtic (Pictish-Celtic) gene pool. The first settlers of prehistoric Sardinia came from Etruria (present day Tuscany) and the Iberian peninsula (Spain), so the Sardinia result is also explained by these populations becoming admixed with the Pictish-Celtic gene pool. Both Sardinian and Tuscan genes found their way into the Pictish-Celtic gene pool via Spain.

The oldest human traces in Europe are found in France - "The oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from approximately 1,800,000 years ago." Consequently, the French result likely reflects my most ancient genetic beginnings in Europe (even possibly through Neanderthals, since 1-4% of the genome of all Eurasians has been contributed to us by Neanderthals), and in consideration of the fact that my motherline mitochondrial genetic haplogroup is U5, the oldest motherline haplogroup in Europe, arising in Europe approximately 50,000 years ago when the first homo sapiens came to Europe.

Like France, prehistoric Romania evidences some of the first homo sapiens to inhabit Europe. Also, ancient Celts lived in Northwestern Romania, so Romania also links up with ancient Celtic civilization, which likewise links back to the ancient Picts in Orkney (Scotland).

Taking all this together, it reasonable to say that my primary ancestral heritage (by autosomal SNP genetic analysis) is Pictish-Scottish-Celtic (with associated links to Northeastern, Southern and Southeastern Europe as discussed above) and Scandinavian-Finnish (with associated links to Russia and other Scandinavian countries as discussed above). This is in general agreement with my autosomal STR genetic analysis results which also tell me I am mostly Celtic and Scandinavian, with ancient genetic admixtures from other areas of Europe figuring into my genetic stew.

According to information at the Family Tree DNA website, these results reflect my ancestry for the last 100-2000 years (40-80 generations) and "may also reflect one population that mixed with another in ancient times and became fixed in the second population."

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