In the last decade, genetic variation in the human mtDNA has been studied extensively. About 99% of the population in Europe and America has been studied and general patterns have been explained. Ten mitochondrial DNA haplogroups have been used to categorize them. These are H, I, J, K, M, T, U, W, and X. among theses, their population, origin and distribution has been a subject of considerable and extensive studies. The Caucasus region has approximately fifty ethnic groups that belong to four broad categories (Allard, Miller and Wilson p 1). These are found in Southern and Northern Caucasia (Dagestan), Indo European and Turkic.
Previous studies have shown distinct variations and diversity between the Caucasians they have been based on blood group tests, cell protein composition and enzymes found in red blood cells. The results though indicate a common origin of the Caucasus group with variations along the line subdivided based on geographical regions and linguistic differences. A recent study of the Caucasus group using mtDNA showed high level diversity within Europe as compared to the Western Asia diversity. The genetic relationship among the Caucasus group is more reflected in their geographical locations than in their linguistic features. Phylogenic mtDNA places the Caucasus population between Western Asia and Europe suggesting a much more common ancestry.
Further studies show that the genetic structure of the Caucasus group is neither influenced by geographical or linguistic factors according to their mtDNA analysis. Generally the genetic drift among the Caucasus group is as a result of small populations and isolation of different groups. Comparison made between Y chromosome variation and mtDNA indicate a close relationship between the Western Europe and Caucasus group in terms of origin and population (Allard, Miller and Wilson p 2).
[...] Origins: The Story of the Emergence of Humans and Humanity in Africa. Cape Town: Juta and Company Ltd Genebase Tutorials. Learn about mtDNA Haplogroup H. Genebase Tutorials May Nasidze, et al. Genetic evidence concerning the origins of South and North Ossetians: Annals of Human Genetics. santiago: University of Santiago Nasidze, Ivane, et al. "Alu insertion polymorphisms and the genetic structure of human populations from the Caucasus." European Journal of Human Genetics (2001): 267-272. Roostalu, et al. Origin and Expansion of Haplogroup the Dominant Human Mitochondrial DNA Lineage in West Eurasia: The Near Eastern and Caucasian Perspective November May 2013 . [...]
[...] MtDNA haplotype diversity in the Caucasus region is above 90%. Based on this, genetic distances that exist in the region is insignificantly low. MtDNA suggest that there is a division between the Southern and Northern Caucasus groups but it is more eminent in the Eastern and Western group. Expanded studies of mtDNA variation in the Caucasus region have yielded similar results. To increase accuracy of initial places of origin and genetic diversity, more populations need to be studied. The Caucasus group exhibits major similarities with the Western Asia than European populations (Allard, Miller and Wilson). [...]
[...] Comparison made between Y chromosome variation and mtDNA indicate a close relationship between the Western Europe and Caucasus group in terms of origin and population (Allard, Miller and Wilson p 2). The Dagestan region is found between the Caspian and black sea in the Southern part of Russia. The region has about two thirds of its population in the south in the Caucasus Mountains and the rest in along the Western shores of the Caspian Sea. The main groups in Dagestan are Makhachkala, Urkara, Stalskoe, Nogias and Kubachi. [...]
[...] Possibly, during the Paleolithic wave, haplogroup H first entered Europe between 20,000 and 25,000 years back to 22000 years back, ancestors in the Northern and Central Europe moved to the South in the Western Caucasus and Southern Europe regions. This was a result of harsh and cold climate which extended in expansive cold deserts (Nasidze, Risch and Robichaux). The distribution of the Caucasus haplogroup H is mostly spread in the Western Eurasia region. It accounts for more than 40% of mtDNA variation in the region which are mostly prevalent in the European population. [...]
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