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Mitochondrial DNA analysis of eneolithic trypillians from Ukraine reveals neolithic farming genetic roots

Nikitin, Alexey G.; Potekhina, Inna; Lillie, Malcolm; Mallick, Swapan; Nikitin, Alexey; Potiekhina, I D; Reich, David; Rohland, Nadin


Alexey G. Nikitin

Inna Potekhina

Malcolm Lillie

Swapan Mallick

Alexey Nikitin

I D Potiekhina

David Reich

Nadin Rohland


Cristian Capelli


The agricultural revolution in Eastern Europe began in the Eneolithic with the Cucuteni-Trypillia culture complex. In Ukraine, the Trypillian culture (TC) existed for over two millennia (ca. 5,400–2,700 BCE) and left a wealth of artifacts. Yet, their burial rituals remain a mystery and to date almost nothing is known about the genetic composition of the TC population. One of the very few TC sites where human remains can be found is a cave called Verteba in western Ukraine. This report presents four partial and four complete mitochondrial genomes from nine TC individuals uncovered in the cave. The results of this analysis, combined with the data from previous reports, indicate that the Trypillian population at Verteba carried, for the most part, a typical Neolithic farmer package of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages traced to Anatolian farmers and Neolithic farming groups of central Europe. At the same time, the find of two specimens belonging to haplogroup U8b1 at Verteba can be viewed as a connection of TC with the Upper Paleolithic European populations. At the level of mtDNA haplogroup frequencies, the TC population from Verteba demonstrates a close genetic relationship with population groups of the Funnel Beaker/ Trichterbecker cultural complex from central and northern Europe (ca. 3,950–2,500 BCE).


Nikitin, A. G., Potekhina, I., Lillie, M., Mallick, S., Nikitin, A., Potiekhina, I. D., …Rohland, N. (2017). Mitochondrial DNA analysis of eneolithic trypillians from Ukraine reveals neolithic farming genetic roots. PLoS ONE, 12(2), e0172952.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 13, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 24, 2017
Publication Date Feb 24, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 28, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 28, 2017
Journal PLoS One
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Article Number ARTN e0172952
Pages e0172952
Keywords General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; General Agricultural and Biological Sciences; General Medicine
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a copy of an open access article published in: PLoS One, 2017, v.12 issue 2.


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Copyright Statement
©2017 Nikitin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,provided the original author and source are credited.

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