torstai 6. helmikuuta 2014

Mordovian affinity in Finland

The genetic origin of Finns is for the big public unknown.  If you follow the public discussion,   including random scientific views, you find ideas that resemble more a conspiracy theory than common sense.  It is hard to find neutral scientific work with natural explanations.  I am going to bite a small piece of this cake.   Unfortunately I can’t do very inclusive work because I have not same resources than professional scientists working with resources they have, but I have my liberty to do my own work.  It is not away from anyone.   It is possible to do fair work if you familiarize yourself with methods and data, and you know something about the Finnish history. 

Test goals

My goal is to see what is common with Eastern Finns and two key populations in Russia; Mordovians and North Asians.   Finnish scientists define Eastern Finns as a mixture of Karelians and Tavastians.   The history of Tavastians is quite well documented by linguists and archaeologists from the first millennium and there is no reason to ponder who they are. Tavastians are ancient Finns who have lived in Finland a very long time.  The history of Karelians is less clear.  They appeared to the historical scene around 1000 years ago, just after the Slavic eastern expansion started.  During those times numerous Finnic speaking groups lived in the area of present-day Russia.   There are many possibilities for the origin of Karelians; they can be their own origin or a mix of several Finnic groups to the east from Finland or in the neighborhood of ancient Tavastians in Finland.   Today Finnish enthusiasts have done great work with the East Finnish Ydna and resolved routes where their paternal lines came from.   Mostly Eastern Finnish paternal results suggest the origin from Russia, inside the area from Finland to near Moscow.   But my goal is to see inside autosomal genetic ancestry.  Autosomal genes tell more about admixtures between populations. 

Additionally I try to find out the possible Asian admix among Eastern Finns.   As I earlier found the North Asian admixture usually seen among Finns is vague.  Look at here and here.  It exists only if we use samples from Mediterranean or Atlantic regions, or from Central Europe with prominent Mediterranean or Atlantic affinity.   Obviously those samples dominate the test arrangement and assign some Northeast European genetic attributes to North Asian, if they are common with them.  The lesson would be:  don’t use presumable non-ancestral samples if you want to make good analyses in certain time span. Easier said than done.


Test arrangement


  • Han Chinese – defining East Asian affinity
  • Nganassans  – defining North Asian affinity
  • Mordovians – defining Northeast European / East-Finnic ancestry
  • Belorussians – defining Slavic ancestry
  • Scandinavians – defining Fennoscandinavian ancestry
  • East Finns – 3 samples
  • West Finns – 5 samples for comparison

Data selections and preparation

  • Asian and North/Northeast European groups are around in same size to prevent under/oversampling in finding Asian admixtures.
  • Mordovians are selected using pre-analysis including individuals with most Finnish looking genetic profile.   Another end of Mordovians resembles Slavs.
  •  Nganassans are pruned, without outliers.  Outliers had European admixture around 10-50%. 
  •  Scandinavians are the group with least Finnish admixture, selected using pre-analysis.  Two of them in my Scandinavian sample group (7 individuals) were dropped out for this reason.



  • Structure 2.3.4 (rel. 2012)
  • run parameter: initial 20000 cycles, analysis 200000 cycles




                                                  Pop       1      2      3      Individuals

                                                  Han:     0,996  0,003  0,000       10
                                                  Ngan:   0,971  0,029  0,000        9
                                                  Mrd:     0,003  0,279  0,718        5
                                                  EFinn:  0,004  0,303  0,693        3
                                                  Belarus:0,001  0,014  0,985        5
                                                  Scand:   0,001  0,016  0,983        5




                                                      Pop       1      2      3      4      Individuals

                                                      Han:     0.022  0.977  0.000  0.001       10
                                                      Ngan:   0.044  0.955  0.000  0.000        9
                                                      Mrd:     0.297  0.000  0.698  0.005        5
                                                      EFinn:  0.304  0.001  0.692  0.002        3
                                                      Belarus:0.027  0.000  0.973  0.000        5
                                                      Scand:   0.027  0.000  0.970  0.003        5




                                                     Pop       1      2      3      4      5      Individuals

                                                     Han:     0.007  0.680  0.313  0.000  0.000       10
                                                     Ngan:   0.011  0.249  0.740  0.000  0.000        9
                                                     Mrd:     0.808  0.000  0.001  0.013  0.178        5
                                                     EFInn:  0.790  0.000  0.000  0.209  0.000        3
                                                     Belarus:0.999  0.000  0.000  0.001  0.000        5
                                                     Scand:   0.997  0.000  0.000  0.002  0.001        5


 West Finns, K=3


The result shows for Western Finns around a half of the supposed Northeast European admix, being in the halfway between Scandinavians and Mordovians.  This fits well with Finnish genetic studies where Western Finns are in the halfway between Eastern Finns (Eastern Finns and Mordovians have equally NE-European affinity) and Scandinavians. Western Finns trigger a bit different Northeast European cluster than Eastern Finns, including some common affinity between Western Finns, Mordovians, Belorussians and Scandinavians.



                                                    Pop       1      2      3      Individuals

                                                    Han:     0.022  0.978  0.000       10
                                                    Ngan:   0.045  0.955  0.000        9
                                                    Mrd:     0.347  0.000  0.653        5
                                                    WFinn: 0.170  0.000  0.830        5
                                                    Belarus:0.059  0.000  0.941        5
                                                    Scand:   0.059  0.000  0.941        5


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