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Mol Biol Evol. 2002 Jul;19(7):1008-21.

Y chromosome evidence for Anglo-Saxon mass migration.

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  • 1The Centre for Genetic Anthropology, Departments of Biology and Anthropology, University College London, University of London, United Kingdom. m.weale@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

British history contains several periods of major cultural change. It remains controversial as to how much these periods coincided with substantial immigration from continental Europe, even for those that occurred most recently. In this study, we examine genetic data for evidence of male immigration at particular times into Central England and North Wales. To do this, we used 12 biallelic polymorphisms and six microsatellite markers to define high-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes in a sample of 313 males from seven towns located along an east-west transect from East Anglia to North Wales. The Central English towns were genetically very similar, whereas the two North Welsh towns differed significantly both from each other and from the Central English towns. When we compared our data with an additional 177 samples collected in Friesland and Norway, we found that the Central English and Frisian samples were statistically indistinguishable. Using novel population genetic models that incorporate both mass migration and continuous gene flow, we conclude that these striking patterns are best explained by a substantial migration of Anglo-Saxon Y chromosomes into Central England (contributing 50%-100% to the gene pool at that time) but not into North Wales.

PMID:
12082121
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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