Another recent study on Lusatian Sorbs. The same sample of Lusatian Sorbs was used as in Veraamah et al. (2011) study I posted above. The reference samples, which caused concern in one of our member, was different in this study.

Full text is available free of charge.

Gross, A et al. 2011, 'Population-genetic comparison of the Sorbian isolate population in Germany with the German KORA population using genome-wide SNP arrays', BMC Genetics, vol. 12, p. 67.


The Sorbs are an ethnic minority in Germany with putative genetic isolation, making the population interesting for disease mapping. A sample of N = 977 Sorbs is currently analysed in several genome-wide meta-analyses. Since genetic differences between populations are a major confounding factor in genetic meta-analyses, we compare the Sorbs with the German outbred population of the KORA F3 study (N = 1644) and other publically available European HapMap populations by population genetic means. We also aim to separate effects of over-sampling of families in the Sorbs sample from effects of genetic isolation and compare the power of genetic association studies between the samples.


A total of 977 subjects [Sorbs] were available after quality control. Other populations were selected from Kora and HapMap projects. See the article for details (p. 3-4)

Principal Component Analysis, Fst


Principal components analysis revealed a west to east clustering of KORA individuals born in Germany, KORA individuals born in Poland or Czech Republic, Half-Sorbs (less than four Sorbian grandparents) and Full-Sorbs. The Sorbs cluster is nearest to the cluster of KORA individuals born in Poland. The number of rare SNPs is significantly higher in the Sorbs sample. FST between KORA and Sorbs is an order of magnitude higher than between different regions in Germany.


Sorbs show signs of genetic isolation which cannot be explained by over-sampling of relatives, but the effects are moderate in size. The Slavonic origin of the Sorbs is still genetically detectable.

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