Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Basque Y-DNA

Maju critically summarizes the results from the last paper on Basque Y-DNA, a companion to an earlier mtDNA piece by the same authors.

While I disagree with his premise that Y-DNA haplogroup "R1b1a2a1a1b (P312/S116), which is also the most important R1b sublineage worldwide, which I have called in the past the South Clade and will call hereafter as R1b-S, . . . [is] original from the Franco-Cantabrian Region and scattered with, possibly, Magdalenian culture." (i.e. 17,000 BP to 9,000 BP), apart from the issue over grossly overstating the time depth (my best estimate would be about a third of the age that he assigns to it), his analysis is solid and informative.

I also agree with him in doubting that Y-DNA haplogroup I is clearly Neolithic is its arrival in Europe; the evidence is less than clear one way or the other. Indeed, Y-DNA haplogroup I, which is probably quite a bit older than R1b, in my humble opinion, is one of the most plausible candidates for being a predominant Upper Paleolithic Y-DNA haplogroup for modern humans in Europe. Haplogroup I is most common in places that were either the last to succumb to farming, or where indigeneous populations would have had more staying power because they encounted migrant Neolithic farmers in its very formative stages when was not as dominant as would it become vis-a-vis people who didn't have more time to adapt to it in response to their own hunter-gatherer lifestyles. The overall frequency of Y-DNA haplogroup I in Europe (which varies quite a bit from region to region) is in the same ballpark as the frequency of mtDNA haplogroup U, the predominant Upper Paleolithic mtDNA haplogroup.

1 comment:

Maju said...

You can't make an age estimate: the molecular clock is broken, very specially for Y-DNA. So we can only infer from phylogeny and geography.

Otherwise I appreciate your compliments.