Genetic History of Mingrelia (Samegrelo)

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A Map Showing the Location of Mingrelia (Samegrelo) in Georgia

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mingrelia

As shown in the map below, in August 2016, our joint American-Georgian research team conducted fieldwork in 25 different cities, towns, and villages located in different areas of Samegrelo for the Georgia Genetic History Project. We enrolled 485 individuals in the genetic study, including 113 women and 372 men. Written informed consent was obtained from participants using a Georgian language consent form prior to the collection of DNA samples with buccal swabs (see photos below). As part of the enrollment process, genealogical information was also collected from all participants, who were asked to provide their age and birthplace, their parents’ names, ethnicity, and birthplaces, and similar information for their four grandparents. This information, along with extended genealogical interviews conducted with a subset of participants, yielded important details about the demography of Samegrelo.

Fieldwork Map for Samegrelo

The red dots indicate the 25 different cities, towns, and villages in which we conducted ethnographic fieldwork and DNA sample collection.

Mingrelia Research Team

From left to right: Front: Shorena Laliashvili, XXXXX (administrator from Potskhoetseri village), Irma Laliashvili; Back: Misha Shengelia, Ramaz Shengelia, Aram Yardumian. Photo credit: T.G. Schurr

Enrolling Participants from Jgali Village in the Project

Photo credit: T.G. Schurr

Dr. David Chitanva (left) Interviewing Participants from xxxx Village

Photo credit: T.G. Schurr

We are now in the process of analyzing mDNA, Y-chromosome and autosomal diversity in the 485 Mingrelian participants at the LMAP, in collaboration with Dr. Michel Shamoon-Pour in the Department of Anthropology at Binghamton University and Dr. Iain Mathieson in the Genetics Department at Penn. SNP genotyping and mitogenome sequencing is also being conducted in coordination with the Gene-by-Gene research team.

Dr. Iain Mathieson

Dr. Michel Shamoon-Pour

More Information

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Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
421 University Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6398, USA
Tel: 215-573-2656

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