[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haplogroup H dominates present-day Western European mitochondrial DNA variability (>40%), yet was less common (~19%) among Early Neolithic farmers (~5450 BC) and virtually absent in Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Here we investigate this major component of the maternal population history of modern Europeans and sequence 39 complete haplogroup H mitochondrial genomes from ancient human remains. We then compare this ‘real-time’ genetic data with cultural changes taking place between the Early Neolithic (~5450 BC) and Bronze Age (~2200 BC) in Central Europe. Our results reveal that the current diversity and distribution of haplogroup H were largely established by the Mid Neolithic (~4000 BC), but with substantial genetic contributions from subsequent pan-European cultures such as the Bell Beakers expanding out of Iberia in the Late Neolithic (~2800 BC). Dated haplogroup H genomes allow us to reconstruct the recent evolutionary history of haplogroup H and reveal a mutation rate 45% higher than current estimates for human mitochondria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Y-chromosome Haplogroup O is the dominant lineage of East Asians, comprising more than a quarter of all males on the world; however, its internal phylogeny remains insufficiently investigated. In this study, we determined the phylogenetic position of recently defined markers (L127, KL1, KL2, P164, and PK4) in the background of Haplogroup O. In the revised tree, subgroup O3a-M324 is divided into two main subclades, O3a1-L127 and O3a2-P201, covering about 20 and 35% of Han Chinese people, respectively. The marker P164 is corrected from a downstream site of M7 to upstream of M134 and parallel to M7 and M159. The marker PK4 is also relocated from downstream of M88 to upstream of M95, separating the former O2* into two parts. This revision evidently improved the resolving power of Y-chromosome phylogeny in East Asia.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 09/2011; 19(9):1018. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cultural expansions, including of religions, frequently leave genetic traces of differentiation and in-migration. These expansions may be driven by complex doctrinal differentiation, together with major population migrations and gene flow. The aim of this study was to explore the genetic signature of the establishment of religious communities in a region where some of the most influential religions originated, using the Y chromosome as an informative male-lineage marker. A total of 3139 samples were analyzed, including 647 Lebanese and Iranian samples newly genotyped for 28 binary markers and 19 short tandem repeats on the non-recombinant segment of the Y chromosome. Genetic organization was identified by geography and religion across Lebanon in the context of surrounding populations important in the expansions of the major sects of Lebanon, including Italy, Turkey, the Balkans, Syria, and Iran by employing principal component analysis, multidimensional scaling, and AMOVA. Timing of population differentiations was estimated using BATWING, in comparison with dates of historical religious events to determine if these differentiations could be caused by religious conversion, or rather, whether religious conversion was facilitated within already differentiated populations. Our analysis shows that the great religions in Lebanon were adopted within already distinguishable communities. Once religious affiliations were established, subsequent genetic signatures of the older differentiations were reinforced. Post-establishment differentiations are most plausibly explained by migrations of peoples seeking refuge to avoid the turmoil of major historical events.Keywords: Y-chromosome; population genetics; human migrations; cultural diffusion; religion; Maronites
European Journal of HumanGenetics 11/2010; 19(3):334-340. · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic variation on the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome contains information about the ancestry of male lineages. Because of their low rate of mutation, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the markers of choice for unambiguously classifying Y chromosomes into related sets of lineages known as haplogroups, which tend to show geographic structure in many parts of the world. However, performing the large number of SNP genotyping tests needed to properly infer haplogroup status is expensive and time consuming. A novel alternative for assigning a sampled Y chromosome to a haplogroup is presented here. We show that by applying modern machine-learning algorithms we can infer with high accuracy the proper Y chromosome haplogroup of a sample by scoring a relatively small number of Y-linked short tandem repeats (STRs). Learning is based on a diverse ground-truth data set comprising pairs of SNP test results (haplogroup) and corresponding STR scores. We apply several independent machine-learning methods in tandem to learn formal classification functions. The result is an integrated high-throughput analysis system that automatically classifies large numbers of samples into haplogroups in a cost-effective and accurate manner.