Zoë H Rosser

University of Leicester, Leicester, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (16)122.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2010, 86 (3), pp. 497-498. The final version is available from http://www.cell.com/AJHG/fulltext/S0002-9297(10)00080-7. Doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.01.036
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 03/2010; 86(3):497-8. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The relative contributions to modern European populations of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers from the Near East have been intensely debated. Haplogroup R1b1b2 (R-M269) is the commonest European Y-chromosomal lineage, increasing in frequency from east to west, and carried by 110 million European men. Previous studies suggested a Paleolithic origin, but here we show that the geographical distribution of its microsatellite diversity is best explained by spread from a single source in the Near East via Anatolia during the Neolithic. Taken with evidence on the origins of other haplogroups, this indicates that most European Y chromosomes originate in the Neolithic expansion. This reinterpretation makes Europe a prime example of how technological and cultural change is linked with the expansion of a Y-chromosomal lineage, and the contrast of this pattern with that shown by maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA suggests a unique role for males in the transition.
    PLoS Biology 01/2010; 8(1):e1000285. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Outside the pseudoautosomal regions, the mammalian sex chromosomes are thought to have been genetically isolated for up to 350 million years. However, in humans pathogenic XY translocations occur in XY-homologous (gametologous) regions, causing sex-reversal and infertility. Gene conversion might accompany recombination intermediates that resolve without translocation and persist in the population. We resequenced X and Y copies of a translocation hotspot adjacent to the PRKX and PRKY genes and found evidence of historical exchange between the male-specific region of the human Y and the X in patchy flanking gene-conversion tracts on both chromosomes. The rate of X-to-Y conversion (per base per generation) is four to five orders of magnitude more rapid than the rate of Y-chromosomal base-substitution mutation, and given assumptions about the recombination history of the X locus, tract lengths have an overall average length of approximately 100 bp. Sequence exchange outside the pseudoautosomal regions could play a role in protecting the Y-linked copies of gametologous genes from degeneration.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2009; 85(1):130-4. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutation at most human minisatellites is driven by complex interallelic processes that give rise to a high degree of length polymorphism and internal structural variation. MSY1, the only highly variable minisatellite on the non-recombining region of the Y chromosome, is constitutively haploid and therefore precluded from interallelic interactions, yet maintains high diversity in both length and structure. To investigate the basis of its mutation processes, an unbiased structural analysis of >500 single-molecule MSY1 PCR products from matched sperm and blood samples from a single donor was undertaken. The overall mutation frequencies in sperm and blood DNAs were not significantly different, at 2.68% and 1.88%, respectively. Sperm DNA showed significantly more length mutants than blood DNA, with mutants in both tissues involving small-scale (1-3 repeat units in a 77 repeat progenitor allele) increases or decreases in repeat block lengths, with no gain or loss bias. Isometric mutations altering structure but not length were found in both tissues, and involved either the apparent shift of a boundary between repeat unit blocks (a 'boundary switch') or the conversion of a repeat within a block to a different repeat type ('modular structure' mutant). There was a significant excess of boundary switch mutants and deficit of modular structure mutants in sperm. A comparison of mutant structures with phylogenetically matched alleles in population samples showed that alleles with structures resembling the blood mutants were unlikely to arise in populations. Mutation seems likely to involve gene conversion via synthesis-dependent strand annealing, and the blood-sperm differences may reflect more relaxed constraint on sister chromatid alignment in blood.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 09/2008; 648(1-2):46-53. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Medical Genetics 05/2005; 42(4):366-8. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have screened the nearly complete DNA sequence of the human Y chromosome for microsatellites (short tandem repeats) that meet the criteria of having a repeat-unit size of > or = 3 and a repeat count of > or = 8 and thus are likely to be easy to genotype accurately and to be polymorphic. Candidate loci were tested in silico for novelty and for probable Y specificity, and then they were tested experimentally to identify Y-specific loci and to assess their polymorphism. This yielded 166 useful new Y-chromosomal microsatellites, 139 of which were polymorphic, in a sample of eight diverse Y chromosomes representing eight Y-SNP haplogroups. This large sample of microsatellites, together with 28 previously known markers analyzed here--all sharing a common evolutionary history--allowed us to investigate the factors influencing their variation. For simple microsatellites, the average repeat count accounted for the highest proportion of repeat variance (approximately 34%). For complex microsatellites, the largest proportion of the variance (again, approximately 34%) was explained by the average repeat count of the longest homogeneous array, which normally is variable. In these complex microsatellites, the additional repeats outside the longest homogeneous array significantly increased the variance, but this was lower than the variance of a simple microsatellite with the same total repeat count. As a result of this work, a large number of new, highly polymorphic Y-chromosomal microsatellites are now available for population-genetic, evolutionary, genealogical, and forensic investigations.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2004; 74(6):1183-97. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nineteen Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (STRs), DYS19, DYS389-I, DYS389-II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS385, DYS388, DYS434, DYS435, DYS436, DYS437, DYS438, DYS439, DYS460, DYS461 and DYS462 were typed in Inuit (n=70) and Danish (n=62) population samples.
    Forensic Science International 05/2003; 132(3):228-32. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have used binary markers and microsatellites on the Y chromosome to analyse diversity in a sample of Greenlandic Inuit males. This sample contains Y chromosomes typical of those found in European populations. Because the Y chromosome has a unique and robust phylogeny of a time depth that precedes the split between European and Native American populations, it is possible to assign chromosomes in an admixed population to either continental source. On this basis, 58+/-6% of these Y chromosomes have been assigned to a European origin. The high proportion of European Y chromosomes contrasts with a complete absence of European mitochondrial DNA and indicates strongly male-biased European admixture into Inuit. Comparison of the European component of Inuit Y chromosomes with European population data suggests that they have their origins in Scandinavia. There are two potential source populations: Norse settlers from Iceland, who may have been assimilated 500 years ago, and the Danish-Norwegian colonists of the eighteenth century. Insufficient differentiation between modern Icelandic and Danish Y chromosomes means that a choice between these cannot be made on the basis of diversity analysis. However, the extreme sex bias in the admixture makes the later event more likely as the source.
    Human Genetics 05/2003; 112(4):353-63. · 4.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In man, infertility is associated with microdeletions of specific regions of the long arm of the Y chromosome. This indicates that factors encoded by the Y chromosome are necessary for spermatogenesis. However, the majority of men with either idiopathic azoospermia or oligozoospermia have grossly intact Y chromosomes and the underlying causes of their infertility are unknown. We hypothesized that some of these individuals may carry other rearrangements or sequence variants on the non-recombining region of the Y chromosome that may be associated with reduced spermatogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we typed the Y chromosome in a group of Danish men with known sperm counts and compared the haplotype distribution with that of a group of unselected Danish males. We found that one class of Y chromosome, referred to as haplogroup 26+, was significantly overrepresented (27.9%; P < 0.001) in the group of men with either idiopathic oligozoospermia (defined as <20 x 10(6 )sperm/ml) or azoospermia compared to the control Danish male population (4.6%). This study defines, for the first time, a class of Y chromosome that is at risk for infertility in a European population. This observation suggests that selection may be indeed active on the Y chromosome, at least in the Danish population, raising the possibility that it could alter the pattern of Y chromosome haplotype distribution in the general population.
    Human Molecular Genetics 09/2001; 10(18):1873-7. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ancient demographic events can be inferred from the distribution of pairwise sequence differences (or mismatches) among individuals. We analyzed a database of 3,677 Y chromosomes typed for 11 biallelic markers in 48 human populations from Europe and the Mediterranean area. Contrary to what is observed in the analysis of mitochondrial polymorphisms, Tajima's test was insignificant for most Y-chromosome samples, and in 47 populations the mismatch distributions had multiple peaks. Taken at face value, these results would suggest either (1) that the size of the male population stayed essentially constant over time, while the female population size increased, or (2) that different selective regimes have shaped mitochondrial and Y-chromosome diversity, leading to an excess of rare alleles only in the mitochondrial genome. An alternative explanation would be that the 11 variable sites of the Y chromosome do not provide sufficient statistical power, so a comparison with mitochondrial data (where more than 200 variable sites are studied in Europe) is impossible at present. To discriminate between these possibilities, we repeatedly analyzed a European mitochondrial database, each time considering only 11 variable sites, and we estimated mismatch distributions in stable and growing populations, generated by simulating coalescent processes. Along with theoretical considerations, these tests suggest that the difference between the mismatch distributions inferred from mitochondrial and Y-chromosome data are not a statistical artifact. Therefore, the observed mismatch distributions appear to reflect different underlying demographic histories and/or selective pressures for maternally and paternally transmitted loci.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 08/2001; 18(7):1259-71. · 14.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous genetic studies, supported by linguistic and historical data, suggest that the European Roma, comprising a large number of socially divergent endogamous groups, may be a complex conglomerate of founder populations. The boundaries and characteristics of such founder populations and their relationship to the currently existing social stratification of the Roma have not been investigated. This study is an attempt to address the issues of common vs independent origins and the history of population fissioning in three Romani groups that are well defined and strictly endogamous relative to each other. According to linguistic classifications, these groups belong to the Vlax Roma, who account for a large proportion of the European Romani population. The analysis of mtDNA sequence variation has shown that a large proportion of maternal lineages are common to the three groups. The study of a set of Y chromosome markers of different mutability has revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma and presents with closely related microsatellite haplotypes and MSY1 codes. The study unambiguously points to the common origins of the three Vlax groups and the recent nature of the population fissions, and provides preliminary evidence of limited genetic diversity in this young founder population.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 03/2001; 9(2):97-104. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinal patterns of autosomal genetic diversity within Europe have been interpreted in previous studies in terms of a Neolithic demic diffusion model for the spread of agriculture; in contrast, studies using mtDNA have traced many founding lineages to the Paleolithic and have not shown strongly clinal variation. We have used 11 human Y-chromosomal biallelic polymorphisms, defining 10 haplogroups, to analyze a sample of 3,616 Y chromosomes belonging to 47 European and circum-European populations. Patterns of geographic differentiation are highly nonrandom, and, when they are assessed using spatial autocorrelation analysis, they show significant clines for five of six haplogroups analyzed. Clines for two haplogroups, representing 45% of the chromosomes, are continentwide and consistent with the demic diffusion hypothesis. Clines for three other haplogroups each have different foci and are more regionally restricted and are likely to reflect distinct population movements, including one from north of the Black Sea. Principal-components analysis suggests that populations are related primarily on the basis of geography, rather than on the basis of linguistic affinity. This is confirmed in Mantel tests, which show a strong and highly significant partial correlation between genetics and geography but a low, nonsignificant partial correlation between genetics and language. Genetic-barrier analysis also indicates the primacy of geography in the shaping of patterns of variation. These patterns retain a strong signal of expansion from the Near East but also suggest that the demographic history of Europe has been complex and influenced by other major population movements, as well as by linguistic and geographic heterogeneities and the effects of drift.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2001; 67(6):1526-43. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human Xp/Yp telomere-junction region exhibits high levels of sequence polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium. To determine whether this is a general feature of human telomeres, we have undertaken sequence analysis at the 12q telomere and have extended the analysis at Xp/Yp. A total of 22 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and one 30-bp duplication were detected in the 1,870 bp adjacent to the 12q telomere. Twenty polymorphic positions were in almost complete linkage disequilibrium, creating three common diverged haplotypes accounting for 80% of 12q telomeres in the white population. A further 6% of 12q telomeres contained a 1,439-bp deletion in the DNA flanking the telomere. The remaining 13% of 12q telomeres did not amplify with the primers used (nulls). The distribution of telomere (TTAGGG) and variant repeats within 12q telomeres was hypervariable, but alleles with similar distribution patterns were associated with the same haplotype in the telomere-adjacent DNA. These data suggest that 12q telomeres, like Xp/Yp telomeres, exhibit low levels of homologous recombination and evolve along haploid lineages. In contrast, high levels of homologous recombination occur in the adjacent proterminal regions of human chromosomes. This suggests that there is a localized telomere-mediated suppression of recombination. In addition, the genetic characteristics of these regions may provide a source of deep lineages for the study of early human evolution, unaffected by both natural selection and recombination. To explain the presence of a few diverged haplotypes adjacent to the Xp/Yp and 12q telomeres, we propose a model that involves the hybridization of two archaic hominoid lineages ultimately giving rise to modern Homo sapiens.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 02/2000; 66(1):235-50. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinal patterns of autosomal genetic diversity within Europe have been interpreted in previous studies in terms of a Neolithic demic diffusion model for the spread of agriculture; in contrast, studies using mtDNA have traced many founding lineages to the Paleolithic and have not shown strongly clinal variation. We have used 11 human Y-chromosomal biallelic polymorphisms, defining 10 haplogroups, to analyze a sample of 3,616 Y chromosomes belonging to 47 European and circum-European populations. Patterns of geographic differentiation are highly nonrandom, and, when they are assessed using spatial autocorrelation analysis, they show significant clines for five of six haplogroups analyzed. Clines for two haplogroups, representing 45% of the chromosomes, are continentwide and consistent with the demic diffusion hypothesis. Clines for three other haplogroups each have different foci and are more regionally restricted and are likely to reflect distinct population movements, including one from north of the Black Sea. Principal-components analysis suggests that populations are related primarily on the basis of geography, rather than on the basis of linguistic affinity. This is confirmed in Mantel tests, which show a strong and highly significant partial correlation between genetics and geography but a low, nonsignificant partial correlation between genetics and language. Genetic-barrier analysis also indicates the primacy of geography in the shaping of patterns of variation. These patterns retain a strong signal of expansion from the Near East but also suggest that the demographic history of Europe has been complex and influenced by other major population movements, as well as by linguistic and geographic heterogeneities and the effects of drift.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2000; 67(6):1526-1543. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinal patterns of autosomal genetic diversity within Europe have been interpreted in previous studies in terms of a Neolithic demic diffusion model for the spread of agriculture; in contrast, studies using mtDNA have traced many founding lineages to the Paleolithic and have not shown strongly clinal variation. We have used 11 human Y-chromosomal biallelic polymorphisms, defining 10 haplogroups, to analyze a sample of 3,616 Y chromosomes belonging to 47 European and circum-European populations. Patterns of geographic differentiation are highly nonrandom, and, when they are assessed using spatial autocorrelation analysis, they show significant clines for five of six haplogroups analyzed. Clines for two haplogroups, representing 45% of the chromosomes, are continentwide and consistent with the demic diffusion hypothesis. Clines for three other haplogroups each have different foci and are more regionally restricted and are likely to reflect distinct population movements, including one from north of the Black Sea. Principal-components analysis suggests that populations are related primarily on the basis of geography, rather than on the basis of linguistic affinity. This is confirmed in Mantel tests, which show a strong and highly significant partial correlation between genetics and geography but a low, nonsignificant partial correlation between genetics and language. Genetic-barrier analysis also indicates the primacy of geography in the shaping of patterns of variation. These patterns retain a strong signal of expansion from the Near East but also suggest that the demographic history of Europe has been complex and influenced by other major population movements, as well as by linguistic and geographic heterogeneities and the effects of drift.
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  • 01/1999; Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers., ISBN: 0306462958