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Human Genetics

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Articles of Interest

The study of human Y chromosome variation through ancient DNA

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2017

Abstract:

High throughput sequencing methods have completely transformed the study of human Y chromosome variation by offering a genome-scale view on genetic variation retrieved from ancient human remains in context of a growing number of high coverage whole Y chromosome sequence data from living populations from across the world. The ancient Y chromosome sequences are providing us the first exciting glimpses into the past variation of male-specific compartment of the genome and the opportunity to evaluate models based on previously made inferences from patterns of genetic variation in living populations. Analyses of the ancient Y chromosome sequences are challenging not only because of issues generally related to ancient DNA work, such as DNA damage-induced mutations and low content of endogenous DNA in most human remains, but also because of specific properties of the Y chromosome, such as its highly repetitive nature and high homology with the X chromosome. Shotgun sequencing of uniquely mapping regions of the Y chromosomes to sufficiently high coverage is still challenging and costly in poorly preserved samples. To increase the coverage of specific target SNPs capture-based methods have been developed and used in recent years to generate Y chromosome sequence data from hundreds of prehistoric skeletal remains. Besides the prospects of testing directly as how much genetic change in a given time period has accompanied changes in material culture the sequencing of ancient Y chromosomes allows us also to better understand the rate at which mutations accumulate and get fixed over time. This review considers genome-scale evidence on ancient Y chromosome diversity that has recently started to accumulate in geographic areas favourable to DNA preservation. More specifically the review focuses on examples of regional continuity and change of the Y chromosome haplogroups in North Eurasia and in the New World.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: ancient Y chromosome diversity and Y-chromosome | DNA Type: Ancient DNA and Y-DNA

The Y chromosomes of the great apes

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2017

Abstract:

The great apes (orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and humans) descended from a common ancestor around 13 million years ago, and since then their sex chromosomes have followed very different evolutionary paths. While great-ape X chromosomes are highly conserved, their Y chromosomes, reflecting the general lability and degeneration of this male-specific part of the genome since its early mammalian origin, have evolved rapidly both between and within species. Understanding great-ape Y chromosome structure, gene content and diversity would provide a valuable evolutionary context for the human Y, and would also illuminate sex-biased behaviours, and the effects of the evolutionary pressures exerted by different mating strategies on this male-specific part of the genome. High-quality Y-chromosome sequences are available for human and chimpanzee (and low-quality for gorilla). The chromosomes differ in size, sequence organisation and content, and while retaining a relatively stable set of ancestral single-copy genes, show considerable variation in content and copy number of ampliconic multi-copy genes. Studies of Y-chromosome diversity in other great apes are relatively undeveloped compared to those in humans, but have nevertheless provided insights into speciation, dispersal, and mating patterns. Future studies, including data from larger sample sizes of wild-born and geographically well-defined individuals, and full Y-chromosome sequences from bonobos, gorillas and orangutans, promise to further our understanding of population histories, male-biased behaviours, mutation processes, and the functions of Y-chromosomal genes.

Peoples: | Places: - | Topics: Great Apes, Speciation, and Y-chromosome | DNA Type: Y-DNA

Digging deeper into East African human Y chromosome lineages

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2010

Abstract:

The most significant and widely studied remodeling of the African genetic landscape is the Bantu expansion, which led to an almost total replacement of the previous populations from the sub-Saharan region. However, a poor knowledge exists about other population movements, namely, the Nilotic migration, which is a pastoralist dispersal that, contrary to the Bantu expansion, impacted only East African populations. Here, samples from a Ugandan Nilotic-speaking population were studied for 37 Y chromosome-specific SNPs, and the obtained data were compared with those already available for other sub-Saharan population groups. Although Uganda lies on the fringe of both Bantu and Nilotic expansions, a low admixture with Bantu populations was detected, with haplogroups carrying M13, M182 and M75 mutations prevailing in Nilotes together with a low frequency of the main Bantu haplogroups from clade E1b1a-M2. The results of a comparative analysis with data from other population groups allowed a deeper characterization of some lineages in our sample, clarifying some doubts about the origin of some particular Y-SNPs in different ethnic groups, such as M150, M112 and M75. Moreover, it was also possible to identify a new Y-SNP apparently specific to Nilotic groups, as well as the presence of particular haplogroups that characterize Nilotic populations. The detection of a new haplogroup B2a1b defined by G1, could be, therefore, important to differentiate Nilotes from other groups, helping to trace migration and admixture events that occurred in eastern Africa.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: Y-DNA

SNPs for a universal individual identification panel

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2010

Abstract:

An efficient method to uniquely identify every individual would have value in quality control and sample tracking of large collections of cell lines or DNA as is now often the case with whole genome association studies. Such a method would also be useful in forensics. SNPs represent the best markers for such purposes. We have developed a globally applicable resource of 92 SNPs for individual identification (IISNPs) with extremely low probabilities of any two unrelated individuals from anywhere in the world having identical genotypes. The SNPs were identified by screening over 500 likely/candidate SNPs on samples of 44 populations representing the major regions of the world. All 92 IISNPs have an average heterozygosity >0.4 and the F st values are all <0.06 on our 44 populations making these a universally applicable panel irrespective of ethnicity or ancestry. No significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) occurs for all unique pairings of 86 of the 92 IISNPs (median LD = 0.011) in all of the 44 populations. The remaining 6 IISNPs show strong LD in most of the 44 populations for a small subset (7) of the unique pairings in which they occur due to close linkage. 45 of the 86 SNPs are spread across the 22 human autosomes and show very loose or no genetic linkage with each other. These 45 IISNPs constitute an excellent panel for individual identification including paternity testing with associated probabilities of individual genotypes less than 10 ?15 , smaller than achieved with the current panels of forensic markers. This panel also improves on an interim panel of 40 IISNPs previously identified using 40 population samples. The unlinked status of the subset of 45 SNPs we have identified also makes them useful for situations involving close biological relationships. Comparisons with random sets of SNPs illustrate the greater discriminating power, efficiency, and more universal applicability of this IISNP panel to populations around the world. The full set of 86 IISNPs that do not show LD can be used to provide even smaller genotype match probabilities in the range of 10 ?31 –10 ?35 based on the 44 population samples studied.

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Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2009

Abstract:

To help unravel some of the early Eurasian steppe migration movements, we determined the Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial haplotypes and haplogroups of 26 ancient human specimens from the Krasnoyarsk area dated from between the middle of the second millennium BC. to the fourth century AD. In order to go further in the search of the geographic origin and physical traits of these south Siberian specimens, we also typed phenotype-informative single nucleotide polymorphisms. Our autosomal, Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA analyses reveal that whereas few specimens seem to be related matrilineally or patrilineally, nearly all subjects belong to haplogroup R1a1-M17 which is thought to mark the eastward migration of the early Indo-Europeans. Our results also confirm that at the Bronze and Iron Ages, south Siberia was a region of overwhelmingly predominant European settlement, suggesting an eastward migration of Kurgan people across the Russo-Kazakh steppe. Finally, our data indicate that at the Bronze and Iron Age timeframe, south Siberians were blue (or green)-eyed, fair-skinned and light-haired people and that they might have played a role in the early development of the Tarim Basin civilization. To the best of our knowledge, no equivalent molecular analysis has been undertaken so far.

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Candidate gene studies of ADHD: a meta-analytic review

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2009

Abstract:

Quantitative genetic studies (i.e., twin and adoption studies) suggest that genetic influences contribute substantially to the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Over the past 15 years, considerable efforts have been made to identify genes involved in the etiology of this disorder resulting in a large and often conflicting literature of candidate gene associations for ADHD. The first aim of the present study was to conduct a comprehensive meta-analytic review of this literature to determine which candidate genes show consistent evidence of association with childhood ADHD across studies. The second aim was to test for heterogeneity across studies in the effect sizes for each candidate gene as its presence might suggest moderating variables that could explain inconsistent results. Significant associations were identified for several candidate genes including DAT1, DRD4, DRD5, 5HTT, HTR1B, and SNAP25. Further, significant heterogeneity was observed for the associations between ADHD and DAT1, DRD4, DRD5, DBH, ADRA2A, 5HTT, TPH2, MAOA, and SNAP25, suggesting that future studies should explore potential moderators of these associations (e.g., ADHD subtype diagnoses, gender, exposure to environmental risk factors). We conclude with a discussion of these findings in relation to emerging themes relevant to future studies of the genetics of ADHD.

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Extended Y chromosome haplotypes resolve multiple and unique lineages of the Jewish priesthood

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2009

Abstract:

It has been known for over a decade that a majority of men who self report as members of the Jewish priesthood (Cohanim) carry a characteristic Y chromosome haplotype termed the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). The CMH has since been used to trace putative Jewish ancestral origins of various populations. However, the limited number of binary and STR Y chromosome markers used previously did not provide the phylogenetic resolution needed to infer the number of independent paternal lineages that are encompassed within the Cohanim or their coalescence times. Accordingly, we have genotyped 75 binary markers and 12 Y-STRs in a sample of 215 Cohanim from diverse Jewish communities, 1,575 Jewish men from across the range of the Jewish Diaspora, and 2,099 non-Jewish men from the Near East, Europe, Central Asia, and India. While Cohanim from diverse backgrounds carry a total of 21 Y chromosome haplogroups, 5 haplogroups account for 79.5% of Cohanim Y chromosomes. The most frequent Cohanim lineage (46.1%) is marked by the recently reported P58 T->C mutation, which is prevalent in the Near East. Based on genotypes at 12 Y-STRs, we identify an extended CMH on the J-P58* background that predominates in both Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Cohanim and is remarkably absent in non-Jews. The estimated divergence time of this lineage based on 17 STRs is 3,190 ± 1,090 years. Notably, the second most frequent Cohanim lineage (J-M410*, 14.4%) contains an extended modal haplotype that is also limited to Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Cohanim and is estimated to be 4.2 ± 1.3 ky old. These results support the hypothesis of a common origin of the CMH in the Near East well before the dispersion of the Jewish people into separate communities, and indicate that the majority of contemporary Jewish priests descend from a limited number of paternal lineages.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: Y-DNA

Missing data imputation and haplotype phase inference for genome-wide association studies

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2008

Abstract:

Imputation of missing data and the use of haplotype-based association tests can improve the power of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In this article, I review methods for haplotype inference and missing data imputation, and discuss their application to GWAS. I discuss common features of the best algorithms for haplotype phase inference and missing data imputation in large-scale data sets, as well as some important differences between classes of methods, and highlight the methods that provide the highest accuracy and fastest computational performance.

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Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2007

Abstract:

The caste system has persisted in Indian Hindu society for around 3,500 years. Like the Y chromosome, caste is defined at birth, and males cannot change their caste. In order to investigate the genetic consequences of this system, we have analysed male-lineage variation in a sample of 227 Indian men of known caste, 141 from the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh and 86 from the rest of India. We typed 131 Y-chromosomal binary markers and 16 microsatellites. We find striking evidence for male substructure: in particular, Brahmins and Kshatriyas (but not other castes) from Jaunpur each show low diversity and the predominance of a single distinct cluster of haplotypes. These findings confirm the genetic isolation and drift within the Jaunpur upper castes, which are likely to result from founder effects and social factors. In the other castes, there may be either larger effective population sizes, or less strict isolation, or both.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: Y-DNA

Contrasting patterns of Y-chromosome variation in South Siberian populations from Baikal and Altai-Sayan regions

Journal: Human Genetics | Year: 2006

Abstract:

In order to investigate the genetic history of autochthonous South Siberian populations and to estimate the contribution of distinct patrilineages to their gene pools, we have analyzed 17 Y-chromosomal binary markers (YAP, RPS4Y711, SRY-8299, M89, M201, M52, M170, 12f2, M9, M20, 92R7, SRY-1532, DYS199, M173, M17, Tat, and LLY22 g) in a total sample of 1,358 males from 14 ethnic groups of Siberia (Altaians-Kizhi, Teleuts, Shors, Tuvinians, Todjins, Tofalars, Sojots, Khakassians, Buryats, Evenks), Central/Eastern Asia (Mongolians and Koreans) and Eastern Europe (Kalmyks and Russians). Based on both, the distribution pattern of Y-chromosomal haplogroups and results on AMOVA analysis we observed the statistically significant genetic differentiation between the populations of Baikal and Altai–Sayan regions. We suggest that these regional differences can be best explained by different contribution of Central/Eastern Asian and Eastern European paternal lineages into gene pools of modern South Siberians. The population of the Baikal region demonstrates the prevalence of Central/Eastern Asian lineages, whereas in the populations of Altai and Sayan regions the highest paternal contribution resulted from Eastern European descent is revealed. Yet, our data on Y-chromosome STRs variation demonstrate the clear differences between the South Siberian and Eastern European R1a1-lineages with the evolutionary ages compatible with divergence time between these two regional groups.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: - | DNA Type: Y-DNA

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