Genetic Chaos

Friday, April 02, 2004

Rare Deep-Rooting Y Chromosome Lineages in Humans: Lessons for Phylogeography

There has been considerable debate on the geographic origin of the human Y chromosome Alu polymorphism (YAP). Here we report a new, very rare deep-rooting haplogroup within the YAP clade, together with data on other deep-rooting YAP clades. The new haplogroup, found so far in only five Nigerians, is the least-derived YAP haplogroup according to currently known binary markers. However, because the interior branching order of the Y chromosome genealogical tree remains unknown, it is impossible to impute the origin of the YAP clade with certainty. We discuss the problems presented by rare deep-rooting lineages for Y chromosome phylogeography.

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