Alexey G. Nikitin's webpage
focus is human population genetics. Most of my research effort is
currently in the area of archeogenetics, which traces and
quantifies population diversity of past human populations by analyzing
DNA extracted from human remains. I work with mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA), which allows tracing the maternal genetic lineage of an
With respect to archeogenetics, my interests are in the area east of
the Carpathians and north of the Black Sea (the Ponto-Carpathian
region), home to such ancient cultures as Dnipro-Donets of the
Neolithic, Trypillia-Cucuteni of the Copper Age, Yamna (Pit-Grave),
Catacomb and Babino (KMK) of the Bronze Age, as well as Scythians and
other nomadic warrior cultures of the Iron Age.
One of my ongoing archeogenetics projects is
devoted to the genetic analysis of the remains of pre-historic
occupants of the Carpathian footsteps. The focus of our study is a
Neolithic farming culture complex called Trypillia-Cucuteni
(TC), which existed on the territory of modern Ukraine, Moldova and
Romania, in the VI-III millennium Before Present (BP). We have been
working with a team of Ukrainian archeologists on the analysis of human
artifacts from a ritual site of TC in western Ukraine called
Cave, to understand
the biological origins of Trypillians and their genetic contribution to
genetic pool of modern European inhabitants.
We have recently completed mtDNA analysis of the remains of
Dnipo-Donets (DD) culture complex, a Neolithic hunter-gatherer group
the North Pontic region (the nortern shores of the Black Sea,
abbreviated as NPR) to determine the maternal genetic origins
of that anthropologically diverse community. Our results so far
indicate the presence of both West and East Eurasian mtDNA lineages in
the DD population (Nikitin et al., 2012; Lillie et al., 2012).
Another archeogenetic project we are currently pursuing deals with the
of NPR burial mounds (kurgans)
from the early Bronze Age (EBA). Along with the genetic
dicovering new things about the EBA kurgans in the NPR. Such as, it
appears that some
kurgans were erected on top of
existing ritual megalithic structures from the Eneolithic (Copper
in many cases recycling the stone features of the earlier
structures in their burials.
Some of these Copper Age constructions
were apparenly in use for cosmogonic
purposes. Please check back for
on this new twist in the story of the NPR kurgans.
Another area of my
research interests is trout population genetics.
A team of students in my lab has been working on a mtDNA
haplotyping project involving Michigan brown trout (Salmo trutta). The
goal of the project is to identify mitochondrial genetic lineages of
brown trout in Michigan waters and to relate them to specific trout
strains from Michigan trout hatcheries as well as their European
progenitors. Another goal of this project is
to analyze the haplotype-specific survival success of various genetic
lineages of brown trout in Michigan lakes and streams to help improve
brown trout fisheries management in the state of Michigan.
Recent publicatins by topic
Nikitin AG, Newton JR, Potekhina
ID. (2012) Mitochondrial haplogroup C in ancient mitochondrial DNA from
Ukraine extends the presence of East Eurasian genetic lineages in
Neolithic Central and Eastern Europe. Journal
of Human Genetics
Ivanova SV, Nikitin AG. (2012)
Population dynamics of the steppe cultures of the Eneolithic and Early
Bronze Age from the point of view of archaeogenetics. Stratum Plus 2:
Lillie M, Potekhina I, Budd C, Nikitin AG. (2012) Prehistoric
populations of Ukraine: Migration at the later Mesolithic to Neolithic
transition. In: J. Burger, E. Kaiser und W. Schier (Eds.), Population
dynamics in Pre- and Early History. New Approaches by using Stable
Isotopes and Genetics. Berlin, pp. 79-94.
Nikitin AG. (2011)
Bioarcheological analysis of Bronze Age human remains from the Podillya
region of Ukraine. Interdisciplinaria
Archaeologica 2(1): 31-36.
Link to article
Nikitin AG, Sokhatsky MP,
Kovaliukh MM, Videiko MY. (2010) Comprehensive site chronology and
ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis from Verteba
Cave – a Trypillian culture site of Eneolithic Ukraine. Interdisciplinaria
Archaeologica 1(1-2): 9–18, 2010.
Kochkin IT, Nikitin AG.
(2009) The genetic trail of pre-historic migrations in ethnic
Carpathian populations. The
Carpathians: People, Ethnos, Civilization 1: 34-36. (In
with English summary, Генетичний слід доісторичних міграцій в етнічному
населенні Карпат: інформація про гуцулів, лемків, бойків.)
Link to article
Human Population Genetics
Varzari A, Kharkov V,
Nikitin AG, Raicu F, Simonova K, Stephan W, Weiss E, Stepanov V. (2013)
Paleo-Balkan and Slavic contributions to the genetic pool of
Moldavians: Insights from the Y chromosome. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53731.
Link to article online
Nikitin AG, Kochkin IT,
Willis CM, McBain I, Videiko MY. (2009) Mitochondrial DNA sequence
variation in Boyko, Hutsul and Lemko populations of Carpathian
highlands. Human Biology
The paper details the
analysis of mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) polymorphisms of isolated human populations of the Carpathian
Mountain region of Eastern Europe. The goal of this project was to
establish whether those populations differ in the frequency of
polymorphic patterns of mtDNA (mtDNA haplogroups) from those of
populations from other parts of Europe and to examine the reasons for
why and how any such difference may have come about.
to article (PDF)
Nikitin AG, Berdyshev GD. 2008. The
genetic roots of Ukrainian People. Origin
of Language and Culture: Ancient History of Mankind 3(2): 40-44.
(In Russian, Генетические истоки украинского народа.)
Link to article (PDF)
Population Genetics of North American Brown Trout
Johnson SS, Luttenton MR,
Nikitin AG. (2009) Analysis of mitochondrial nucleotide polymorphism in
the ND-1 locus in the North
American brown trout (Salmo trutta).
International Journal of Great Lakes
Research 35(1): 163–167.
Tiano TJ, Willis CM, Noble AA,
Luttenton MR, Nikitin AG. (2007) Genetic identification of hatchery
stocks of brown trout (Salmo trutta)
using mitochondrial DNA
polymorphism. North American Journal
of Fisheries Management 27:
Other recent publications
Stickney JA, Nikitin AG,
Nikitin GA, Morgan RM. (2010) An efficient enrichment technique for
isolation and quantification of indigenous diesel fuel-utilizing
bacteria present in freshwater sediments. Journal of Biotech Research 2:
Physiological and environmental
effects of caffeine
Gibson AM, Morgan RM, MacDonald N,
Nikitin AG. (2012) Possible effects of the presence of common household
chemicals in the environment: The growth of and aquatic bacterial
species on high concentrations of caffeine. Journal of Biotech Research 4:
Nikitin AG, Navitskas S,
Gordon L-AN. (2008) Effect of varying doses of caffeine on lifespan of Drosophila
melanogaster. Journals of
Gerontologvy – Biological Sciences 63A(2): 149-150.
Kleibrink EL, Nikitin AG. (2007)
Misdiagnosis of chronic pain: A bioethical problem. Michigan
Academician 37: 47-54.
Ukrainan pre-historic rock art
- The Stone Tomb
- The Cliff of Dovbush
Theoretical physics: a new look at the theory of gravitation (click the
Alexey G. Nikitin, 2005-2012