We screened a total of 841 Y-chromosomes representing 36 human populations of wide geographical distribution for the presence of a Y-specific Alu insert (YAP+ chromosomes). The Alu element was found in 77 cases. We tested 5 biallelic and 8 polyallelic markers in 70 out of the 77 YAP+ chromosomes. We could identify the existence of a hierarchical and chronological structuring of ancestral and derived YAP+ lineages, giving rise to 4 haplogroups, 14 subhaplogroups and 60 haplotypes. Moreover, we propose a monophyletic origin for each one of the YAP+ lineages. Out-of-Africa and out-of-Asia models have been suggested to explain the origin and evolution of ancestral and derived YAP+ elements. We analyze the evidence supporting these two hypotheses, and we conclude that the information available does not allow one to decide between the out-of-Asia or out-of-Africa models.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.