The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) and the International University of Kyrgyzstan (IUK), in a press release today reported significant progress in their collaborative research partnership to study genetic genealogies, migration and demographic patterns of Kyrgyzstan's various populations.
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked Central Asian country characterized by dramatic, rugged mountain terrain and strong nomadic traditions. Despite a relatively small population (just over 5.2 million in 2006), the country contains a wide variety of ethnic groups, with a large number of primary languages. While approximately 65 percent of the population is comprised of indigenous Kyrgyz residents, more than 13 percent of residents have Uzbek ancestry, and 12.5 percent of residents are of Russian descent - a reminder of the fact that Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864. The country achieved independence from the then-Soviet Union in 1991.
The Kyrgyzstan project is a major addition to SMGF's Central Asia collections. In September 2007, SMGF partnered with the National University of Mongolia to complete the largest DNA collection in the history of Mongolia. For more information about SMGF's DNA collections throughout the world, visit www.smgf.org/maps/collections.jspx.