//Scientific Reports

Scientific Reports

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Articles of Interest

The Irish DNA Atlas: Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland

Journal: Scientific Reports | Year: 2017

Abstract:

The extent of population structure within Ireland is largely unknown, as is the impact of historical migrations. Here we illustrate fine-scale genetic structure across Ireland that follows geographic boundaries and present evidence of admixture events into Ireland. Utilising the ‘Irish DNA Atlas’, a cohort (n = 194) of Irish individuals with four generations of ancestry linked to specific regions in Ireland, in combination with 2,039 individuals from the Peoples of the British Isles dataset, we show that the Irish population can be divided in 10 distinct geographically stratified genetic clusters; seven of ‘Gaelic’ Irish ancestry, and three of shared Irish-British ancestry. In addition we observe a major genetic barrier to the north of Ireland in Ulster. Using a reference of 6,760 European individuals and two ancient Irish genomes, we demonstrate high levels of North-West French-like and West Norwegian-like ancestry within Ireland. We show that that our ‘Gaelic’ Irish clusters present homogenous levels of ancient Irish ancestries. We additionally detect admixture events that provide evidence of Norse-Viking gene flow into Ireland, and reflect the Ulster Plantations. Our work informs both on Irish history, as well as the study of Mendelian and complex disease genetics involving populations of Irish ancestry.

Peoples: Irish | Places: British Isles and Ireland | Topics: genetic clusters | DNA Type: Autosomal DNA

The genetic variation in the R1a clade among the Ashkenazi Levites’ Y chromosome

Journal: Scientific Reports | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Approximately 300,000 men around the globe self-identify as Ashkenazi Levites, of whom two thirds were previously shown to descend from a single male. The paucity of whole Y-chromosome sequences precluded conclusive identification of this ancestor’s age, geographic origin and migration patterns. Here, we report the variation of 486 Y-chromosomes within the Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Levite R1a clade, other Ashkenazi Jewish paternal lineages, as well as non-Levite Jewish and non-Jewish R1a samples. Cumulatively, the emerging profile is of a Middle Eastern ancestor, self-affiliating as Levite, and carrying the highly resolved R1a-Y2619 lineage, which was likely a minor haplogroup among the Hebrews. A star-like phylogeny, coalescing similarly to other Ashkenazi paternal lineages, ~1,743 ybp, suggests it to be one of the Ashkenazi paternal founders; to have expanded as part of the overall Ashkenazi demographic expansion, without special relation to the Levite affiliation; and to have subsequently spread to non-Ashkenazi Levites.

Peoples: Ashkenazi Jews | Places: Europe and Middle East | Topics: Ashkenazi Levites and Middle Eastern Y-DNA | DNA Type: Y-DNA and Y-SNP

The ancient cline of haplogroup K implies that the Neolithic transition in Europe was mainly demic

Journal: Scientific Reports | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Using a database with the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 513 Neolithic individuals, we quantify the space-time variation of the frequency of haplogroup K, previously proposed as a relevant Neolithic marker. We compare these data to simulations, based on a mathematical model in which a Neolithic population spreads from Syria to Anatolia and Europe, possibly interbreeding with Mesolithic individuals (who lack haplogroup K) and/or teaching farming to them. Both the data and the simulations show that the percentage of haplogroup K (%K) decreases with increasing distance from Syria and that, in each region, the %K tends to decrease with increasing time after the arrival of farming. Both the model and the data display a local minimum of the genetic cline, and for the same Neolithic regional culture (Sweden). Comparing the observed ancient cline of haplogroup K to the simulation results reveals that about 98% of farmers were not involved in interbreeding neither acculturation (cultural diffusion). Therefore, cultural diffusion involved only a tiny fraction (about 2%) of farmers and, in this sense, the most relevant process in the spread of the Neolithic in Europe was demic diffusion (i.e., the dispersal of farmers), as opposed to cultural diffusion (i.e., the incorporation of hunter-gatherers).

Peoples: Mesolithic peoples | Places: Anatolia, Europe, Sweden, and Syria | Topics: Demic diffusion model, Mesolithic populations, and Neolithic populations | DNA Type: mtDNA

Next Generation Sequencing Plus (NGS+) with Y-chromosomal Markers for Forensic Pedigree Searches

Journal: Scientific Reports | Year: 2017

Abstract:

There is high demand for forensic pedigree searches with Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) profiling in large-scale crime investigations. However, when two Y-STR haplotypes have a few mismatched loci, it is difficult to determine if they are from the same male lineage because of the high mutation rate of Y-STRs. Here we design a new strategy to handle cases in which none of pedigree samples shares identical Y-STR haplotype. We combine next generation sequencing (NGS), capillary electrophoresis and pyrosequencing under the term ‘NGS+’ for typing Y-STRs and Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs). The high-resolution Y-SNP haplogroup and Y-STR haplotype can be obtained with NGS+. We further developed a new data-driven decision rule, FSindex, for estimating the likelihood for each retrieved pedigree. Our approach enables positive identification of pedigree from mismatched Y-STR haplotypes. It is envisaged that NGS+ will revolutionize forensic pedigree searches, especially when the person of interest was not recorded in forensic DNA database.

Peoples: - | Places: - | Topics: capillary electrophoresis, FSindex, large-scale crime investigations, next generation sequencing (NGS), and pyrosequencing | DNA Type: Y-DNA

Genetic evidence for an East Asian origin of Chinese Muslim populations Dongxiang and Hui

Journal: Scientific Reports | Year: 2016

Abstract:

There is a long-going debate on the genetic origin of Chinese Muslim populations, such as Uygur, Dongxiang, and Hui. However, genetic information for those Muslim populations except Uygur is extremely limited. In this study, we investigated the genetic structure and ancestry of Chinese Muslims by analyzing 15 autosomal short tandem repeats in 652 individuals from Dongxiang, Hui, and Han Chinese populations in Gansu province. Both genetic distance and Bayesian-clustering methods showed significant genetic homogeneity between the two Muslim populations and East Asian populations, suggesting a common genetic ancestry. Our analysis found no evidence of substantial gene flow from Middle East or Europe into Dongxiang and Hui people during their Islamization. The dataset generated in present study are also valuable for forensic identification and paternity tests in China.

Peoples: Dongxiang and Hui | Places: China and Gansu province | Topics: Chinese Muslims | DNA Type: Autosomal DNA

The mitogenome of a 35,000-year-old Homo sapiens from Europe supports a Palaeolithic back-migration to Africa

Journal: Scientific Reports | Year: 2016

Abstract:

After the dispersal of modern humans (Homo sapiens) Out of Africa, hominins with a similar morphology to that of present-day humans initiated the gradual demographic expansion into Eurasia. The mitogenome (33-fold coverage) of the Peştera Muierii 1 individual (PM1) from Romania (35 ky cal BP) we present in this article corresponds fully to Homo sapiens, whilst exhibiting a mosaic of morphological features related to both modern humans and Neandertals. We have identified the PM1 mitogenome as a basal haplogroup U6*, not previously found in any ancient or present-day humans. The derived U6 haplotypes are predominantly found in present-day North-Western African populations. Concomitantly, those found in Europe have been attributed to recent gene-flow from North Africa. The presence of the basal haplogroup U6* in South East Europe (Romania) at 35 ky BP confirms a Eurasian origin of the U6 mitochondrial lineage. Consequently, we propose that the PM1 lineage is an offshoot to South East Europe that can be traced to the Early Upper Paleolithic back migration from Western Asia to North Africa, during which the U6 lineage diversified, until the emergence of the present-day U6 African lineages.

Peoples: - | Places: Africa, Europe, and Romania | Topics: Back Migration, Palaeolithic, and U6 | DNA Type: Ancient DNA and mtDNA

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