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Eur J Hum Genet. 2015 Nov;23(11):1549-57. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2015.14. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Y-chromosome diversity in Catalan surname samples: insights into surname origin and frequency.

Author information

1
Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, CEXS-UPF-PRBB, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Abstract

The biological behavior of the Y chromosome, which is paternally inherited, implies that males sharing the same surname may also share a similar Y chromosome. However, socio-cultural factors, such as polyphyletism, non-paternity, adoption, or matrilineal surname transmission, may prevent the joint transmission of the surname and the Y chromosome. By genotyping 17 Y-STRs and 68 SNPs in ~2500 male samples that each carried one of the 50 selected Catalan surnames, we could determine sets of descendants of a common ancestor, the population of origin of the common ancestor, and the date when such a common ancestor lived. Haplotype diversity was positively correlated with surname frequency, that is, rarer surnames showed the strongest signals of coancestry. Introgression rates of Y chromosomes into a surname by non-paternity, adoption, and transmission of the maternal surname were estimated at 1.5-2.6% per generation, with some local variation. Average ages for the founders of the surnames were estimated at ~500 years, suggesting a delay between the origin of surnames (twelfth and thirteenth centuries) and the systematization of their paternal transmission. We have found that, in general, a foreign etymology for a surname does not often result in a non-indigenous origin of surname founders; however, bearers of some surnames with an Arabic etymology show an excess of North African haplotypes. Finally, we estimate that surname prediction from a Y-chromosome haplotype, which may have interesting forensic applications, has a ~60% sensitivity but a 17% false discovery rate.

PMID:
25689924
PMCID:
PMC4613475
DOI:
10.1038/ejhg.2015.14
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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