Eur J Hum Genet 2020 Jul 7. Epub 2020 Jul 7.
National Institute of Oncology, Budapest, Hungary.
We set out to identify the origins of the Árpád Dynasty based on genome sequencing of DNA derived from the skeletal remains of Hungarian King Béla III (1172-1196) and eight additional individuals (six males, two females) originally interred at the Royal Basilica of Székesfehérvár. Y-chromosome analysis established that two individuals, Béla III and HU52 assign to haplogroups R-Z2125 whose distribution centres near South Central Asia with subsidiary expansions in the regions of modern Iran, the Volga Ural region and the Caucasus. Out of a cohort of 4340 individuals from these geographic areas, we acquired whole-genome data from 208 individuals derived for the R-Z2123 haplogroup. From these data we have established that the closest living kin of the Árpád Dynasty are R-SUR51 derived modern day Bashkirs predominantly from the Burzyansky and Abzelilovsky districts of Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation. Our analysis also reveals the existence of SNPs defining a novel Árpád Dynasty specific haplogroup R-ARP. Framed within the context of a high resolution R-Z2123 phylogeny, the ancestry of the first Hungarian royal dynasty traces to the region centering near Northern Afghanistan about 4500 years ago and identifies the Bashkirs as their closest kin, with a separation date between the two populations at the beginning of the first millennium CE.