Bashkir Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries

by Kevin Alan Brook

Family Tree DNA - Genetic testing service
Family Tree DNA: Genetic Testing Service
Genetic testing will reveal your relationships to other families, other populations from Russia, and other ethnic groups. Bulat Muratov administrates Family Tree DNA's SORAMAN project that includes Bashkirs. Its Bashkir members belong to such clans as Boshman-Qipsaq, Qariy-Qipsaq, Kothey, Qara-Tabin, Bikatin, and Oghuz-Mirzalar. The Y-DNA haplogroups among its Bashkir members include R1b-M73, R1b-M269, R1b-Z2105, R1b-U152, R1a-Z2123, R1a-Z282, R1a-Z280, N1, G, I1-Z59, I2, H, and C. Some of those with Bashkortostani roots also have their mtDNA results in the project's database and their mtDNA haplogroups include H, T2b, and U5. Once you've purchased your Y-DNA or mtDNA analysis, you can apply to join this project.

Many of the Bashkir people live in the Republic of Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation. This area is also known as Bashkiria. Some other Bashkirs live in other parts of Russia, mostly areas that are near Bashkortostan, including Tatarstan, Udmurtia, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, and the Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Samara, Sverdlovsk, and Kurgan oblasts.

The Bashkirs physically and genetically have a mixture of European and Asiatic traits, which is fitting because they live on both sides of the Ural Mountains geographically separating Europe and Asia. Fedorova's team found them to be 60.7% Caucasian and 39.3% Mongoloid. That makes them more Mongoloid than the Volga Tatars and Chuvashes but less Mongoloid than some Central Asian Turkic-speaking peoples like the Uyghurs and Kazakhs. Indeed, the Tatars and Chuvashes don't look as Mongoloid as the Bashkirs do, but the Kazakhs typically look very Mongoloid.

The Bashkir language is a member of the Kipchak subgroup of the Turkic language family.

Major studies of Bashkirs

Sardana A. Fedorova, Marina A. Bermisheva, Richard Villems, Nadezda R. Maksimova, and Elza K. Khusnutdinova. "Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in Yakuts." Molecular Biology 37:4 (2003): pages 544-553. Translated from the Russian edition of the article that was published in Molekulyarnaya Biologiya 37:4 (2003) on pages 643-653.
      Although this is a study primarily about the Yakuts (a Turkic-speaking group living further east of the Bashkirs), Tables 2 and 3 include Bashkir mtDNA (maternal) haplogroup frequency distributions taken from 211 Bashkir samples. Table 3 (page 550) says the most common mtDNA haplogroup among the Bashkirs is U, found in 27.5% of those sampled. H was found in 14.2% and C was found in 12.8%. Less predominant are, in descending order, D (8.1%), F (6.2%), T (5.2%), G (4.7%), A (4.3%), J (3.3%), M* (1.0%). Other haplogroups were found in 12.7% of the Bashkirs studied. Table 2's "Gene pool component" columns for Bashkirs reveal their racial mix to be 60.7% Caucasian and 39.3% Mongoloid (page 549).

Some other mtDNA study (or average of multiple studies) of the Bashkirs came up with a higher frequency of H (22%), a slightly lower frequency of U (of which 2% were in U2, 15% were in U4, and 7.5% in U5), a lower frequency of T (3%), and a higher frequency of J (6%). It also itemized the mtDNA haplogroups K (2.5%), V (2%), I (0.5%), and W (0.5%), unlike Fedorova et al. which placed such haplogroups in its generic "Others" column.

Artyom Sergeevich Lobov. "Struktura genofonda subpopulyatsii bashkir." [Structure of the Gene Pool of Bashkir Subpopulations - original text in Russian] (Avtoreferat. Dissertatsii na soiskanie uchenoy stepeni kandidata biologicheskix nauk. Ufa, 2009).
      A total of 471 Bashkir men were tested for their Y-DNA (paternal) haplogroups. Of these, when the samples are taken as a whole without regard to geographic region, the most common Y-DNA haplogroup among the Bashkirs was R1b, within which 34.4% belonged to R1b1b2 (later renamed R1b1a2; also known as R-M269) and 13.2% to R1b1b1. R1a1 (R-SRY10831.2) was found among 26.3%, and 17% had N1c (N1c-Tat). Less common were haplogroups like E-M35, C-M48, G-P15, L-M20, N-P43, O-M175, and several more. There were some regional divides. Bashkirs from the Perm and Baimakskiy regions have noticeably higher percentages of R1b1b2 compared to the other regions (83.7% in Perm, but much less often in places like Abzelilovsky and Burzyansky and zero percent in Sterlibashevsky), while they have less R1a1 compared to the other regions (only 9.3% in Perm compared to 48.0% in Saratov and Samara in the Samarskaya Oblast).
Bashkir Y-DNA haplogroup frequencies by region

N. V. Trofimova, S. S. Litvinov, R. I. Khusainova, V. L. Akhmetova, I. M. Khidiyatova, Richard Villems, and Elza K. Khusnutdinova. "Analysis of the Y-chromosome in the Volga-Ural region populations from Russia." A presentation being given at the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) Conference 2015 between June 6-9, 2015.
      Their team studied 462 samples collected from 8 Volga-Ural region populations: Bashkirs, Udmurts, Komi, Mordvinians, Mari, Besermyans, Chuvashes, and Tatars. The Y-DNA haplogroup R1a-Z2125 (found in West Asia and Central Asia) reaches its highest frequency in this region (31%) among the Bashkirs. The other populations in the region tend to have R1a-M558 and R1a-M458 instead and those are of Eastern European origin. Other Y-DNA haplogroups like R1b-M269 and N1c1-Tat that the Bashkirs also have are discussed. Substantial past infusions of Asian Mongoloid ancestry into the Bashkir people causes their distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroups to be highly differentiated from other ethnic groups in the Volga-Ural region.

Anne-Mai Ilumäe, Maere Reidla, Marina Chukhryaeva, Mari Järve, Helen Post, Monika Karmin, Lauri Saag, Anastasiya Agdzhoyan, Alena Kushniarevich, Sergey Litvinov, Natalya Ekomasova, Kristiina Tambets, Ene Metspalu, Rita Khusainova, Bayazit Yunusbayev, Elza K. Khusnutdinova, Ludmila P. Osipova, Sardana Fedorova, Olga Utevska, Sergey Koshel, Elena Balanovska, Doron M. Behar, Oleg Balanovsky, Toomas Kivisild, Peter A. Underhill, Richard Villems, and Siiri Rootsi. "Human Y Chromosome Haplogroup N: A Non-trivial Time-Resolved Phylogeography that Cuts across Language Families." American Society of Human Genetics 99:1 (July 7, 2016): pages 163-173.
      A Y-DNA haplogroup within the N family that Bashkirs sometimes belong to is N3a4.

Helen Post, Endre Németh, László Klima, Rodrigo Flores, Tibor Fehér, Attila Türk, Gábor Székely, Hovhannes Sahakyan, Mayukh Mondal, Francesco Montinaro, Monika Karmin, Lauri Saag, Bayazit Yunusbayev, Elza K. Khusnutdinova, Ene Metspalu, Richard Villems, Kristiina Tambets, and Siiri Rootsi. "Y-chromosomal connection between Hungarians and geographically distant populations of the Ural Mountain region and West Siberia." Scientific Reports 9 (2019): article number 7786.
      The authors studied the Y-DNA lineage N3a4-Z1936 which is found among some "populations from Ural Mountain region, including Ob-Ugric-speakers from West Siberia". They found that the subclade N3a4-B539 is found among Bashkirs, Volga Tatars, Mansis, and Khantys.

T. A. Suslova, A. L. Burmistrova, M. S. Chernova, E. B. Khromova, E. I. Lupar, S. V. Timofeeva, I. V. Devald, M. N. Vavilov, and C. Darke. "HLA gene and haplotype frequencies in Russians, Bashkirs and Tatars, living in the Chelyabinsk Region (Russian South Urals)." International Journal of Immunogenetics 39:5 (October 2012): pages 394-408. First published electronically on April 20, 2012.
      146 Bashkirs participated in this study that examined allele families and haplotypes, specifically the HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1 profiles of the three ethnic groups listed in the title, and compared these groups to others. Excerpts from the Abstract:

"[...] The Bashkirs appear close to Mongoloids in allele and haplotype distribution. However, Bashkirs cannot be labelled either as typical Mongoloids or as Caucasoids. Thus, Bashkirs possess some alleles and haplotypes frequent in Mongoloids, which supports the Turkic impact on Bashkir ethnogenesis, but also possess the AH 8.1 haplotype, which could evidence an ancient Caucasoid population that took part in their ethnic formation or of recent admixture with adjacent populations (Russians and Tatars). Bashkirs showed no features of populations with a substantial Finno-Ugric component, [...]"

Bayazit Yunusbayev, Mait Metspalu, Ene Metspalu, Albert Valeev, Sergei Litvinov, Ruslan Valiev, Vita Akhmetova, Elena Balanovska, Oleg Balanovsky, and Shahlo Turdikulova. "The Genetic Legacy of the Expansion of Turkic-Speaking Nomads across Eurasia." PLoS Genetics 11:4 (April 21, 2015): e1005068.
      23 Bashkir individuals had their DNA newly collected by this team and included in their dataset. The scientists found that the Bashkirs possess some genetics from a cluster containing "Siberian Uralic-speaking populations (Nganasans and Nenets) and extended to some of the European Uralic speakers (Maris, Udmurts, and Komis)". The Bashkirs, unlike the Chuvashes, also have significant "recent [Turkic] admixture" from the 13th-14th centuries, later than "the presumed migrations of the ancestral Kipchak Turks from the Irtysh and Ob regions in the 11th century". This was seen by the researchers by analyzing their identical-by-descent segments sized between 3 and 4 centiMorgans (cM). The ALDER admixture estimates are shown in Figure 5. Chuvashes do have Turkic ancestry too, however none of it is as recently added as some of it is in Bashkirs. Volga Tatars absorbed Turkic ancestry significantly later than the Chuvashes did but it stopped being incorporated before it did for Bashkirs.

Petr Triska, Nikolay Chekanov, Vadim Stepanov, Elza K. Khusnutdinova, Ganesh Prasad Arun Kumar, Vita Akhmetova, Konstantin Babalyan, Eugenia Boulygina, Vladimir Kharkov, Marina Gubina, Irina Khidiyatova, Irina Khitrinskaya, Ekaterina E. Khrameeva, Rita Khusainova, Natalia Konovalova, Sergey Litvinov, Andrey Marusin, Alexandr M. Mazur, Valery Puzyrev, Dinara Ivanoshchuk, Maria Spiridonova, Anton Teslyuk, Svetlana Tsygankova, Martin Triska, Natalya Trofimova, Edward Vajda, Oleg Balanovsky, Ancha Baranova, Konstantin Skryabin, Tatiana V. Tatarinova, and Egor Prokhortchouk. "Between Lake Baikal and the Baltic Sea: genomic history of the gateway to Europe." BMC Genetics 18: Supplement 1 (December 28, 2017): 110.
      An autosomal DNA study of 1076 people from 30 populations. Excerpts from the "Results" section:

"Additionally, we observed excessive IBD sharing between Khanty and Bashkir, a group of Turkic speakers from Southern Urals region. While adding some weight to the 'Finno-Ugric' origin of Bashkir, our studies highlighted that the Bashkir genepool lacks the main 'core', being a multi-layered amalgamation of Turkic, Ugric, Finnish and Indo-European contributions, which points at intricacy of genetic interface between Turkic and Uralic populations."

  • Family Tree DNA Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. - This site is an affiliate

  • Bashkir Manual by Nicholas Poppe
  • Bashkortostan Flag Button Magnet
  • Poster Print of a 1910 Photo of a Bashkir Man at a Log Cabin in the Ural Mountain Region

  • Genetics of Chuvash People
  • Genetics of Mari People
  • Genetics of Russian People