, Volume 115, Issue 5, pp 357-371
Date: 21 Aug 2004

Y chromosomal haplogroup J as a signature of the post-neolithic colonization of Europe

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Abstract

In order to attain a finer reconstruction of the peopling of southern and central-eastern Europe from the Levant, we determined the frequencies of eight lineages internal to the Y chromosomal haplogroup J, defined by biallelic markers, in 22 population samples obtained with a fine-grained sampling scheme. Our results partially resolve a major multifurcation of lineages within the haplogroup. Analyses of molecular variance show that the area covered by haplogroup J dispersal is characterized by a significant degree of molecular radiation for unique event polymorphisms within the haplogroup, with a higher incidence of the most derived sub-haplogroups on the northern Mediterranean coast, from Turkey westward; here, J diversity is not simply a subset of that present in the area in which this haplogroup first originated. Dating estimates, based on simple tandem repeat loci (STR) diversity within each lineage, confirmed the presence of a major population structuring at the time of spread of haplogroup J in Europe and a punctuation in the peopling of this continent in the post-Neolithic, compatible with the expansion of the Greek world. We also present here, for the first time, a novel method for comparative dating of lineages, free of assumptions of STR mutation rates.