Ethnogenesis of the Serbs during the Middle Ages: a comparative analysis of the historic-cultural heritage, genetic material and artefacts of material culture from the aspect of analytical chemistry

Principal Investigator: Dr Irena Cvijanovic, The Institute of History Belgrade

Within the framework of this project, the Laboratory for Human Molecular Genetics is carrying out the sub-project "Molecular genetic analysis of DNA in populations that inhabited the area of Southwestern Serbia in the period from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages", headed by Dr. Nataša Kovačević Grujičić. The aim of this research is to study the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variability in a contemporary population of Serbia from the population-genetics, phylogenetic and phylogeographic aspects. The following objectives were set: analysis of mtDNA diversity of modern-day Serbian population; analysis of the composition and frequency of mtDNA haplogroups; assessment of genetic relationships between Serbian and other European populations; phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis of completely sequenced mitogenomes found in Serbian population in order to estimate coalescence ages of particular mtDNA subclades, and to delineate possible Balkan-specific mtDNA lineages. Phylogenetic/phylogeographic analyses will contribute to a better understanding of the evolution of certain mtDNA haplogroups as well as determining the contribution of various migrations that took place through the territory of the Balkans in modeling contemporary maternal gene pool of the Serbian population.

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