Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More on the genetics of European farmers vs. hunter-gatherers

Continuing on the theme from the last post, here is a paper that just came out in PLoS Biology. It seems to come to the same conclusion as the Science one that used ancient mtDNA...sort of. The results conflict since the Bramanti one finds discontinuity in mtDNA lineages, while this paper doesn't. So the Bramanti paper finds little evidence for continuity in mtDNA lineages, while this one finds that there is some continuity in mtDNA lineages, at least compared to the Y-chromosome. The two papers use different sources of data and different methods, which could somehow explain the discrepancy.
Razib's already all over this.

A Predominantly Neolithic Origin for European Paternal Lineages
Patricia Balaresque, Georgina R. Bowden, Susan M. Adams, Ho-Yee Leung, Turi E. King, Zoë H. Rosser, Jane Goodwin, Jean-Paul Moisan, Christelle Richard, Ann Millward, Andrew G. Demaine, Guido Barbujani, Carlo Previderè, Ian J. Wilson, Chris Tyler-Smith, Mark A. Jobling
PLoS Biology 8(1): e1000285.
Abstract: The relative contributions to modern European populations of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and Neolithic farmers from the Near East have been intensely debated. Haplogroup R1b1b2 (R-M269) is the commonest European Y-chromosomal lineage, increasing in frequency from east to west, and carried by 110 million European men. Previous studies suggested a Paleolithic origin, but here we show that the geographical distribution of its microsatellite diversity is best explained by spread from a single source in the Near East via Anatolia during the Neolithic. Taken with evidence on the origins of other haplogroups, this indicates that most European Y chromosomes originate in the Neolithic expansion. This reinterpretation makes Europe a prime example of how technological and cultural change is linked with the expansion of a Y-chromosomal lineage, and the contrast of this pattern with that shown by maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA suggests a unique role for males in the transition.


Anonymous said...
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Maju said...

If you are interested in a very critical, rather merciless, review, read what I wrote at Leherensuge. I have also been discussing the matter heatedly at Dienekes.

In few sentences:

1. Mere speculative artwork based on nothing but a variant of the molecular clock hypothesis (the pedigree rate school).

2. Total disregard for SNP-based phylogeny. The node of the starlike expansion is clearly at the R1b1b2a1 level, not at the R1b1b2 nor R1b1b2a ones. And, crucially it is in Europe, not Turkey.

3. Total disregard for the archaeological understanding of European Neolithic, which had at least two distinct pathways, originated at the Balcans (not to mention the diverse array of original Atlantic cultures) and not just one as the authors happily assume by magically transforming the various cultures in a single Neolithic process.

Confusion creating, misleading, baseless... what can I say?

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