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PLoS One. 2014 Aug 29;9(8):e105691. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105691. eCollection 2014.

Y chromosomes of 40% Chinese descend from three Neolithic super-grandfathers.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, Collaborative Innovation Center for Genetics and Development, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Computational Biology, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, SIBS, CAS, Shanghai, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, Collaborative Innovation Center for Genetics and Development, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
3
Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Computational Biology, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, SIBS, CAS, Shanghai, China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, Collaborative Innovation Center for Genetics and Development, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China; Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.
5
Epigenetics Laboratory, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Demographic change of human populations is one of the central questions for delving into the past of human beings. To identify major population expansions related to male lineages, we sequenced 78 East Asian Y chromosomes at 3.9 Mbp of the non-recombining region, discovered >4,000 new SNPs, and identified many new clades. The relative divergence dates can be estimated much more precisely using a molecular clock. We found that all the Paleolithic divergences were binary; however, three strong star-like Neolithic expansions at ∼6 kya (thousand years ago) (assuming a constant substitution rate of 1×10(-9)/bp/year) indicates that ∼40% of modern Chinese are patrilineal descendants of only three super-grandfathers at that time. This observation suggests that the main patrilineal expansion in China occurred in the Neolithic Era and might be related to the development of agriculture.

PMID:
25170956
PMCID:
PMC4149484
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0105691
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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