Derbeneva OA, Starikovskaya EB, Wallace DC, Sukernik RI.
Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, 10 Lavrent’ev Avenue, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia.
The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 98 Mansi, an ancient group (formerly known as “Vogul”) of Uralic-speaking fishers and hunters on the eastern slope of the northern Ural Mountains, were analyzed for sequence variants by restriction fragment–length polymorphism analysis, control-region sequencing, and sequencing of additional informative sites in the coding region. Although 63.3% of the mtDNA detected in the Mansi falls into western Eurasian lineages (e.g., haplogroups UK, TJ, and HV), the remaining 36.7% encompass a subset of eastern Eurasian lineages (e.g., haplogroups A, C, D, F, G, and M). Among the western Eurasian lineages, subhaplogroup U4 was found at a remarkable frequency of 16.3%, along with lineages U5, U7, and J2. This suggests that the aboriginal populations residing immediately to the east of the Ural Mountains may encompass remnants of the early Upper Paleolithic expansion from the Middle East/southeastern Europe. The added presence of eastern Eurasian mtDNA lineages in the Mansi introduces the possibilities that proto-Eurasians encompassed a range of macrohaplogroup M and N lineages that subsequently became geographically distributed and that the Paleolithic expansion may have reached this part of Siberia before it split into western and eastern human groups.
I’ll read this in more depth when I’m feeling less muzzy. If, in my sleep deprived state I’ve read it correctly, they represent a very early expansion into the central Asian area. According to a news item I’ve read there are only about 200 Mansi left. The area they come from is in Siberia, just North of Kazakhstan.