Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Genetics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The Carpathian range represents a weak genetic barrier in South-East Europe

Montserrat Hervella1, Neskuts Izagirre1, Santos Alonso1, Mihai Ioana23, Mihai G Netea24 and Concepción de-la-Rua1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology, University of the Basque Country, Barrio Sarriena s/n 48940, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain

2 Department of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

3 University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova, Craiova, Romania

4 Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation and Immunity (N4i), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Genetics 2014, 15:56  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-56

Published: 15 May 2014

Abstract

Background

In the present study we have assessed whether the Carpathian Mountains represent a genetic barrier in East Europe. Therefore, we have analyzed the mtDNA of 128 native individuals of Romania: 62 of them from the North of Romania, and 66 from South Romania.

Results

We have analyzed their mtDNA variability in the context of other European and Near Eastern populations through multivariate analyses. The results show that regarding the mtDNA haplogroup and haplotype distributions the Romanian groups living outside the Carpathian range (South Romania) displayed some degree of genetic differentiation compared to those living within the Carpahian range (North Romania).

Conclusion

The main differentiation between the mtDNA variability of the groups from North and South Romania can be attributed to the demographic movements from East to West (prehistoric or historic) that differently affected in these regions, suggesting that the Carpathian mountain range represents a weak genetic barrier in South-East Europe.

Keywords:
Mitochondrial DNA; Carpathian Mountains; Romanian population; Genetic barrier