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PLoS Biol. 2010 Jan 19;8(1):e1000285. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000285.

A predominantly neolithic origin for European paternal lineages.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom.

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.

PMID:
20087410
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2799514
Free PMC Article
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