Moscow University

The Chukchi of Kamchatka: A genetic portrait based on the wide array of Y-chromosome markers

Agdzhoyan A.T. (2,1), Bogunova А.А. (2), Kamenshchikova E.N. (2), Zaporozhchenko V.V. (2), Bogunov Y.V. (1,2), Balanovsky O.P. (1,2,3), Balanovska E.V. (2,3)

1) Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, RAS, Gubkina st., 3, GSP-1, Moscow, 119991, Russia; 2) Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Moskvorechie st., 1, Moscow, 115522, Russia; 3) Biobank of Northern Eurasia, Kotlyakovsaya st., 3, Moscow, 115201, Russia

Agdzhoyan Anastasiya T., PhD. in Biology, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8776-2934;; Bogunova Anna A., PhD. in Biology, ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9543-1492,; Kamenshchikova Evgeniya N., PhD. in Pedagogy, ORCID 0000-0003-1484-0820;; Zaporozhchenko Valery V., ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4649-1602;; Bogunov Yury V., PhD. in Biology, ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7643-3660,; Balanovsky Oleg P., D.Sci. of Biology, Professor RAS, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4218-6889;; Balanovska Elena V., D.Sci. of Biology, Professor, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3882-8300;


The Chukchi of Kamchatka are a frontier group of Chukchi that are the descendants of the ancient indigenous people of Northeast Asia, living for about two centuries in a different ethnic environment, and still not studied. This study is dedicated to the analysis of their gene pool, reconstruction of gene flows and dating of the primary Y-chromosomal lineages. Materials and methods. Venous blood samples of 54 Chukchi men were collected in the Olyutorsky district of Kamchatka Region. All participants are of local ancestry for at least three generations, with self-identified Chukchi fathers and grandfathers. The sample was genotyped using a panel of 60 SNP and 17 STR loci of the Y-chromosome, and the frequencies of the identified haplogroups were analyzed using multivariate statistics and cartographic methods. Phylogeographic analysis was conducted using median networks, and previously published STR data and full sequences of the Y-chromosome from a number of populations of the region were used for comparison. Results and discussion. Y-chromosomes of the Kamchatkan Chukchi show a low diversity, being dominated by two variants N3a5b-B202 (57%) and N3*-M178* (19%), both virtually absent in the neighboring groups of Kamchatka. Phylogenetic analysis of the major lineages reveals some similarity with the populations of Chukotka (including Yupik Eskimo) at the level of clusters and closely matching haplotypes. More likely, this similarity can be explained by the gene flow from the Chukchi homeland to the south (i.e. to the northern regions of Kamchatka) over the past two centuries. The phylogenetic analysis of the N3a5b-B202 haplogroup revealed a correspondence between its two NGS-identified sub-branches (N3a5b1-B203, N3a5b2-B204) and two clusters found using STR markers. This concordance made it possible to compare the age estimates of these haplogroups obtained by different methods; the ages fell within the interval of 0.5-1.5 thousand years ago. N3*-M178* lineage is represented by a single STR-cluster (~800 years old) for which no “full-genome” analogue has yet been identified. The rest of the Chukchi paternal gene pool includes haplogroups C2-M48x (SK1066) (7%) and Q-M242 (7%), which are also present in the neighboring populations, primarily Koryaks, as well as Evens and Evenks. Conclusions. As expected, due to historical considerations, Chukchi of Kamchatka are most similar in Y-chromosome to the Chukotkan populations. The dating of the major branches of haplogroup N3 found in the Chukchi indicates a likely population growth within the past 0.5-1.5 thousand years. There is also a minor component in Chukchi, shared with the populations of Kamchatka, but its strict dating and origin is still unclear: it can be attributed both to the shared ancient NE Asian ancestry and to a recent admixture with local Kamchatkan groups.


gene pool; Kamchatka; Chukchi, Yupik Eskimo, Koryak; Tungusic peoples; Y-chromosome; phylogeography

DOI: 10.32521/2074-8132.2021.1.080-092

Цит.: Agdzhoyan A.T., Bogunova А.А., Kamenshchikova E.N., Zaporozhchenko V.V., Bogunov Y.V., Balanovsky O.P., Balanovska E.V. The Chukchi of Kamchatka: A genetic portrait based on the wide array of Y-chromosome markers // Moscow University Anthropology Bulletin (Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seria XXIII. Antropologia), 2021; 1/2021; с. 80-92

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