Genetic studies on Serbs

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Genetic studies on Serbs show close affinity to other neighboring South Slavs.[1]


2005 studies[edit]

The haplogroup nomenclature follows the YCC 2008 system. See Conversion table for Y chromosome haplogroups for comparison with the nomenclature used in pre-2008 sources.

Y-chromosomal haplogroups identified among the Serbs from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are the following:

  • I2a-P37.2, with frequencies of 29.20% and 30.90%, respectively. The frequency of this haplogroup peaks in Herzegovina (64%), while its variance peaks over a large geographic area covering Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. It is the second most predominant Y-chromosomal haplogroup in the overall Slavic gene pool.[2][3]
  • E1b1b1a2-V13, 20.4% and 19.80%. In Southeast Europe, the frequency of this haplogroup peaks at the region's southeastern edge and its variance peaks in the southwest of the region. Its high frequency among Kosovo Albanians (46%) is most likely a consequence of genetic drift.[2][3]
  • R1a1-M17, 15.93% and 13.60%. The frequency of this haplogroup peaks in Ukraine (54.0%), and is the most predominant Y-chromosomal haplogroup in the overall Slavic gene pool.[2][3]
  • R1b1b2-M269, 10.62 and 6.20%. Its frequency peaks in Western Europe (90% in Wales) followed by Central Europe with West Slavs having the highest frequency of it out of all Slavic groups.[2][3]
  • K*-M9, 7.08% and 7.40%.[2][3]
  • J2b-M102, 4.40% and 6.20%.[2][3]
  • I1-M253, 5.31% and 2.5%.[2][3]
  • F*-M89, 4.9%, only in B-H.[2][3]
  • J2a1b1-M92, 2.70%, only in Serbia.[2][3]

There are also several other uncommon haplogroups with lesser frequencies.[2][3]

Y-chromosomal haplogroups identified among the Serbs from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are the following: I2a-P37.2 (with frequencies of 29.20 and 30.90%, respectively), E1b1b1a2-V13 (20.35 and 19.80%), R1a1-M17 (15.93 and 13.60%), R1b1b2-M269 (10.62 and 6.20%), K*-M9 (7.08 and 7.40%), J2b-M102 (4.40 and 6.20%), I1-M253 (5.31 and 2.5%), F*-M89 (4.9%, only in B-H), J2a1b1-M92 (2.70%, only in Serbia), and several other uncommon haplogroups with lesser frequencies.[2][3][4]

I2a-P37.2 is the most prevailing haplogroup, accounting for nearly one-third of Serbian Y-chromosomes. Its frequency peaks in Herzegovina (64%), and its variance peaks over a large geographic area covering B-H, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Geneticists estimate that I2a-P37.2 originated some 10,000 years before present (ybp) in the Balkans, from where it began to expand to Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe about 7000 ybp. It is the second most predominant Y-chromosomal haplogroup in the overall Slavic gene pool. Slavic migrations to the Balkans in the early Middle Ages contributed to the frequency and variance of I2a-P37.2 in the region.[2]

E1b1b1a2-V13 is the second most prevailing haplogroup amongst Serbs, accounting for roughly one-fifth of Serbian Y chromosomes. In Southeast Europe, its frequency peaks at the southeastern edge of the region and its variance peaks in the region's southwest. Although its frequency is very high in Kosovar Albanians (46%) and Macedonian Romani (30%), this phenomenon is of a focal rather than a clinal nature, most likely being a consequence of genetic drift.[2] E-V13 is also high amongst Albanians in Macedonia (34%) and Albanians in Albania (24%), as well as ethnic Macedonians, Romanians, and Greeks. It is found at low to moderate frequencies in most Slavic populations. However, amongst South Slavs it is quite common. It is found in 27% of Montenegrins[5], 22% of Macedonians[6], and 18% of Bulgarians[7], all Slavic peoples. Moderate frequencies of E-V13 are also found in Italy and western Anatolia.[2][4] In most of Central Europe (Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Ukraine, Slovakia), it is found at low to moderate frequencies of 7-10%, in both R1a (Slavic) and R1b (Germanic/Celtic) dominated populations. It likely originated in the Balkans, Greece, or the Carpathian Basin 9000 ybp or shortly before its arrival in Europe during the Neolithic. Its ancestral haplogroup, E1b1b1a-M78, is of northeast African origin.[4]

R1a1-M17 accounts for about one-seventh to one-sixth of Serbian Y-chromosomes. Its frequency peaks in Ukraine (54.0%), and its variance peaks in northern Bosnia.[2] It is the most predominant haplogroup in the general Slavic paternal gene pool. The variance of R1a1 in the Balkans might have been enhanced by infiltrations of Indo-European speaking peoples between 2000 and 1000 BC, and by the Slavic migrations to the region in the early Middle Ages.[2][3] A descendant lineage of R1a1-M17, R1a1a7-M458, which has the highest frequency in Central and Southern Poland.[8]

R1b1b2-M269 is moderately represented among Serbian males (6–10%). It has its frequency peak in Western Europe (90% in Wales), but a high frequency is also found in Central Europe among the West Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks) and Hungarians as well as in the Caucasus among the Ossetians (43%).[2] It was introduced to Europe by farmers migrating from western Anatolia, probably about 7500 ybp. Serb bearers of this haplogroup are in the same cluster as Central and East European ones, as indicated by the frequency distributions of its sub-haplogroups with respect to total R-M269. The other two clusters comprise, respectively, West Europeans and a group of populations from Greece, Turkey, the Caucasus and the Circum-Uralic region.[9]

J2b-M102 and J2a1b1-M92 have low frequencies among the Serbs (6–7% combined). Various other lineages of haplogroup J2-M172 are found throughout the Balkans, all with low frequencies. Haplogroup J and all its descendants originated in the Middle East. It is proposed that the Balkan Mesolithic foragers, bearers of I-P37.2 and E-V13, adopted farming from the initial J2 agriculturalists who colonized the region about 7000 to 8000 ybp, transmitting the Neolithic cultural package.[4]

An analysis of molecular variance based on Y-chromosomal STRs showed that Slavs can be divided into two groups: one encompassing West Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks), Hungarians, East Slavs (only Ukrainians and Belarusians), Slovenes, and western Croats, and the other encompassing Bulgarians, Ethnic Macedonians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Russians and southern Croats. This distinction could be explained by a genetic contribution of pre-Slavic Balkan populations to the genetic heritage of some South Slavs belonging to the group.[10] Principal component analysis of Y-chromosomal haplogroup frequencies among the three ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, showed that Serbs and Bosniaks are genetically closer to each other than either of them is to Croats.[3]

2012 studies[edit]

A total of 103 Serbian individuals were sampled in 2012, and the majority of Serbian Y-chromosomes (58%) belonged to pre-Neolithic lineages.[11]

Other studies[edit]

  • Haplogroup R1b:
    • Haplogroup R-M269 (or R1b1a1a2): 10% in Serbia (Balaresque et al. 2010).[12]
      • M269* (xL23): 4.4% in Serbia, 5.1% in Macedonia, 7.9% in Kosovo. Highest frequency in the central Balkans (Myres et al. 2010).[13]


Y-DNA haplogroups[edit]

Population Samples Source I2a R1a E1b1b I1 G R1b J2b J2a J1 N Q I2+ other unknown
Serbs 103 Reguiero et al. (2012)[14] 29,1 20,4 18,5 7,8 5,8 7,8 2,9 4 1 1,9 0 1 0 0
Serbs, Aleksandrovac 85 Todorović et al. (2014)[15] 35,29 21,17 15,29 4,70 10,58 1,17 4,70 2,35 2,35 0 1,17 0 0 1,17
Population Samples Source
Serbians 179 Mirabal et al. (2010)[16]
Vojvodina 185 Veselinović (2008)[17]
Population Samples Source E*1b1b1 E1b1b1a2 G2a* I1* I2* I2a1* I2b1 J1* J2a1k J2b* J2b2 N1 R1a1* R1b1b2
Serbs, B&H 81 Battaglia et al. (2008)[18] 2.5 19.8 1.2 2.5 2.5 34.6 1.2 1.2 2.5 3.7 2.5 6.2 13.6 6.2
Population Samples Source E3b* E3b1 G I1a I1b* I* I1c J1 J2* J2e J2f* J2f1 F* K* R1a1 R1b
Serbs, B&H 81 Marjanović et al. (2005)[19] 2.5 19.8 1.2 2.5 30.9 1.2 1.2 0 2.5 6.2 0 0 4.9 7.4 13.6 6.2
Population Samples Source E3b* E3b1 E3b1-α E3b2 E3b3 G J J2e* J2e1 J2* J2f* J2f1 F* H1 I* I1a xM26 I1c K*(xP) R1b R1a Q* P*(xQ,R1)
Serbians, Belgrade 113 Peričić et al. (2005)[20] 0 1.77 18.58 0 0.90 0 0 4.40 0.90 0 0 2.70 0 0.90 1.77 5.31 29.20 0 7.08 10.62 15.93 0 0

Physical anthropology[edit]

According to Serbian physical anthropologist Živko Mikić, the medieval population of Serbia developed a phenotype that represented a mixture of Slavic and indigenous Balkan Dinaric traits. Mikić argues that the Dinaric traits, such as brachycephaly and a bigger average height, have been since then becoming predominant over the Slavic traits among Serbs.[21]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Novembre, J; Johnson, T; Bryc, K; et al. (2008). "(November 2008), "Genes mirror geography within Europe". Nature. 456 (7218): 98–101. doi:10.1038/nature07331. PMC 2735096. PMID 18758442.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Peričić et al. 2005
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Marjanović et al. 2005
  4. ^ a b c d Battaglia et al. 2008
  5. ^ "Montenegrins", Wikipedia, 2019-04-08, retrieved 2019-04-09
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Genetic studies on Bulgarians", Wikipedia, 2019-04-06, retrieved 2019-04-09
  8. ^ Underhill PA, Myres NM, Rootsi S, et al. (April 2010). "Separating the post-Glacial coancestry of European and Asian Y chromosomes within haplogroup R1a". European Journal of Human Genetics. 18 (4): 479–84. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.194. PMC 2987245. PMID 19888303.
  9. ^ Myres NM, Rootsi S, Lin AA, et al. (January 2011). "A major Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b Holocene era founder effect in Central and Western Europe". European Journal of Human Genetics. 19 (1): 95–101. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.146. PMC 3039512. PMID 20736979.
  10. ^ Rebała, K; Mikulich, AI; Tsybovsky, IS; Siváková, D; Dzupinková, Z; Szczerkowska-Dobosz, A; Szczerkowska, Z (2007). "Y-STR variation among Slavs: Evidence for the Slavic homeland in the middle Dnieper basin". Journal of Human Genetics. 52 (5): 406–14. doi:10.1007/s10038-007-0125-6. PMID 17364156.
  11. ^ Regueiro et al. 2012.
  12. ^ Balaresque et al. 2010
  13. ^ Myres et al. 2010
  14. ^ Todorović et al. 2014a, p. 259, citing Reguiero et al. 2012
  15. ^ Todorović et al. 2014a, p. 251.
  16. ^ Mirabal et al. 2010.
  17. ^ Veselinović 2008.
  18. ^ Battaglia et al. 2008.
  19. ^ Marjanović et al. 2005.
  20. ^ Peričić et al. 2005.
  21. ^ Mikić Ž (1994). "Beitrag zur Anthropologie der Slawen auf dem mittleren und westlichen Balkan". Balcanica". (Belgrade: The Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts). 25: 99–109.


Further reading[edit]