Genetic Chaos

Friday, March 31, 2006

Y chromosomal DNA variation in east Asian populations and its potential for inferring the peopling of Korea

We have examined variations of five polymorphic loci (DYS287, DXYS5Y, SRY465, DYS19, and DXYS156Y) on the Y chromosome in samples from a total of 1260 males in eight ethnic groups of East Asia. We found four unique haplotypes constructed from three biallelic markers in these samples of East Asians. The Japanese population was characterized by a relatively high frequency of either the haplotype I-2b (-/Y2/T) or II-1 (+/Y1/C). These dual patterns of the distribution of Y chromosomes (I-2b/II-1) were also found in Korea, although they were present at relatively low frequencies. The haplotype II-1 was present in Northeast Asian populations (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Mongolians) only, except for one male from the Thai population among the Southeast Asian populations (Indonesians, Philippines, Thais, and Vietnamese). The Japanese were revealed to have the highest frequency of this haplotype (27.5%), followed by Koreans (2.9%), Mongolians (2.6%), and mainland Chinese (2.2%). In contrast, the frequency of the haplotype I-2b was found to be 17.1% in the Japanese, 9.5% in Indonesian, 6.3% in Korean, 3.8% in Vietnamese, and 2.7% in Thai samples. These findings suggested that the chromosomes of haplotype I-2b were likely derived from certain areas of Northeast Asia, the region closest to Southeast Asia. Phylogenetic analysis using the neighbor-joining tree also reflected a general distinction between Southeast and Northeast Asian populations. The phylogeny revealed a closer genetic relationship between Japanese and Koreans than to the other surveyed Asian populations. Based on the result of the dual patterns of the haplotype distribution, it is more likely that the population structure of Koreans may not have evolved from a single ancient population derived from Northeast Asians, but through dual infusions of Y chromosomes entering Korea from two different waves of East Asians.

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Evolution and migration history of the Chinese population inferred from Chinese Y-chromosome evidence

Y-chromosomes from 76 Chinese men covering 33 ethnical minorities throughout China as well as the Han majority were collected as genetic material for the study of Chinese nonrecombinant Y-chromosome (NRY) phylogeny. Of the accepted worldwide NRY haplogroups, three (haplogroups D, C, O) were significant in this sample, extending previous assessments of Chinese genetic diversity. Based on geographic, linguistic, and ethnohistorical information, the 33 Chinese ethnical minorities in our survey were divided into the following four subgroups: North, Tibet, West, and South. Inferred from the distribution of the newfound immediate ancestor lineage haplogroup O*, which has M214 but not M175, we argue that the southern origin scenario of this most common Chinese Y haplogroup is not very likely. We tentatively propose a West/North-origin hypothesis, suggesting that haplogroup O originated in West/North China and mainly evolved in China and thence spread further throughout eastern Eurasia. The nested cladistic analysis revealed in detail a multilayered, multidirectional, and continuous history of ethnic admixture that has shaped the contemporary Chinese population. Our results give some new clues to the evolution and migration of the Chinese population and its subsequence moving about in this land, which are in accordance with the historical records.

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Y-Chromosome Evidence of Southern Origin of the East Asian–Specific Haplogroup O3-M122

The prehistoric peopling of East Asia by modern humans remains controversial with respect to early population migrations. Here, we present a systematic sampling and genetic screening of an East Asian–specific Y-chromosome haplogroup (O3-M122) in 2,332 individuals from diverse East Asian populations. Our results indicate that the O3-M122 lineage is dominant in East Asian populations, with an average frequency of 44.3%. The microsatellite data show that the O3-M122 haplotypes in southern East Asia are more diverse than those in northern East Asia, suggesting a southern origin of the O3-M122 mutation. It was estimated that the early northward migration of the O3-M122 lineages in East Asia occurred ~25,000–30,000 years ago, consistent with the fossil records of modern humans in East Asia.

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Recent Spread of a Y-Chromosomal Lineage in Northern China and Mongolia

We have identified a Y-chromosomal lineage that is unusually frequent in northeastern China and Mongolia, in which a haplotype cluster defined by 15 Y short tandem repeats was carried by 3.3% of the males sampled from East Asia. The most recent common ancestor of this lineage lived 590 ± 340 years ago (mean ± SD), and it was detected in Mongolians and six Chinese minority populations. We suggest that the lineage was spread by Qing Dynasty (16441912) nobility, who were a privileged elite sharing patrilineal descent from Giocangga (died 1582), the grandfather of Manchu leader Nurhaci, and whose documented members formed 0.4% of the minority population by the end of the dynasty.

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Dual origins of the Japanese: common ground for hunter-gatherer and farmer Y chromosomes

Historic Japanese culture evolved from at least two distinct migrations that originated on the Asian continent. Hunter-gatherers arrived before land bridges were submerged after the last glacial maximum (>12,000 years ago) and gave rise to the Jomon culture, and the Yayoi migration brought wet rice agriculture from Korea beginning ~2,300 years ago. A set of 81 Y chromosome single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was used to trace the origins of Paleolithic and Neolithic components of the Japanese paternal gene pool, and to determine the relative contribution of Jomon and Yayoi Y chromosome lineages to modern Japanese. Our global sample consisted of >2,500 males from 39 Asian populations, including six populations sampled from across the Japanese archipelago. Japanese populations were characterized by the presence of two major (D and O) and two minor (C and N) clades of Y chromosomes, each with several sub-lineages. Haplogroup D chromosomes were present at 34.7% and were distributed in a U-shaped pattern with the highest frequency in the northern Ainu and southern Ryukyuans. In contrast, haplogroup O lineages (51.8%) were distributed in an inverted U-shaped pattern with a maximum frequency on Kyushu. Coalescent analyses of Y chromosome short tandem repeat diversity indicated that haplogroups D and C began their expansions in Japan ~20,000 and ~12,000 years ago, respectively, while haplogroup O-47z began its expansion only ~4,000 years ago. We infer that these patterns result from separate and distinct genetic contributions from both the Jomon and the Yayoi cultures to modern Japanese, with varying levels of admixture between these two populations across the archipelago. The results also support the hypothesis of a Central Asian origin of Jomonese ancestors, and a Southeast Asian origin of the ancestors of the Yayoi, contra previous models based on morphological and genetic evidence.

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