Aim To study the genetic relationship of Kazakhs from East Kazakhstan to other Eurasian populations by examining paternal and maternal DNA lineages. Methods Whole blood samples were collected in 2010 from 160 unrelated healthy Kazakhs residing in East Kazakhstan. Genomic DNA was extracted with Wizard® genomic DNA Purification Kit. Nucleotide sequence of hypervariable segment I of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was determined and analyzed. Seventeen Y-short tandem repeat (STR) loci were studied in 67 samples with the Amp- FiSTR Y-filer PCR Amplification Kit. In addition, mtDNA data for 2701 individuals and Y-STR data for 677 individuals were retrieved from the literature for comparison. Results There was a high degree of genetic differentiation on the level of mitochondrial DNA. The majority of maternal lineages belonged to haplogroups common in Central Asia. In contrast, Y-STR data showed very low genetic diversity, with the relative frequency of the predominant haplotype of 0.612. Conclusion The results revealed different migration patterns in the population sample, showing there had been more migration among women. mtDNA genetic diversity in this population was equivalent to that in other Central Asian populations. Genetic evidence suggests the existence of a single paternal founder lineage in the population of East Kazakhstan, which is consistent with verbal genealogical data of the local tribes.
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