Genetic Chaos

Friday, May 07, 2004

Y Chromosome Markers and Trans-Bering Strait Dispersals

Five polymorphisms involving two paternally inherited loci were surveyed in 38 world populations (n = 1,631) to investigate the origins of Native Americans. One of the six Y chromosome combination haplotypes (1T) was found at relatively high frequencies (17.8–75.0%) in nine Native American populations (n = 206) representing the three major linguistic divisions in the NewWorld. Overall, these data do not support the Greenberg et al. (1986) tripartite model for the early peopling of the Americas. The 1T haplotype was also discovered at a low frequency in Siberian Eskimos (3/22), Chukchi (1/6), and Evens (1/65) but was absent from 17 other Asian populations (n = 987). The perplexing presence of the 1T haplotype in northeastern Siberia may be due to back-migration from the New World to Asia.

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