Recent Spread of a Y-Chromosomal Lineage in Northern China and Mongolia

Recent Spread of a Y-Chromosomal Lineage in Northern China and Mongolia

Abstract:

We have identified a Y-chromosomal lineage that is unusually frequent in northeastern China and Mongolia, in which a haplotype cluster defined by 15 Y short tandem repeats was carried by 3.3% of the males sampled from East Asia. The most recent common ancestor of this lineage lived 590 ± 340 years ago (mean ± SD), and it was detected in Mongolians and six Chinese minority populations. We suggest that the lineage was spread by Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) nobility, who were a privileged elite sharing patrilineal descent from Giocangga (died 1582), the grandfather of Manchu leader Nurhaci, and whose documented members formed 0.4% of the minority population by the end of the dynasty. On a broad scale, patterns of human genetic variation reflect global events, such as the expansion out of Africa 50,000–70,000 years ago and Neolithic transitions