Phylogeographic analysis of haplogroup E3b (E-M215) y chromosomes reveals multiple migratory events within and out of Africa

Am J Hum Genet. 2004 May;74(5):1014-22. doi: 10.1086/386294. Epub 2004 Mar 24.


We explored the phylogeography of human Y-chromosomal haplogroup E3b by analyzing 3401 individuals from five continents. Our data refine the phylogeny of the entire haplogroup, which appears as a collection of lineages with very different evolutionary histories, and reveal signatures of several distinct processes of migrations and/or recurrent gene flow that occurred in Africa and western Eurasia over the past 25000 years. In Europe, the overall frequency pattern of haplogroup E-M78 does not support the hypothesis of a uniform spread of people from a single parental Near Eastern population. The distribution of E-M81 chromosomes in Africa closely matches the present area of distribution of Berber-speaking populations on the continent, suggesting a close haplogroup-ethnic group parallelism. E-M34 chromosomes were more likely introduced in Ethiopia from the Near East. In conclusion, the present study shows that earlier work based on fewer Y-chromosome markers led to rather simple historical interpretations and highlights the fact that many population-genetic analyses are not robust to a poorly resolved phylogeny.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa / ethnology
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Gene Frequency / genetics
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • Geography
  • Haplotypes / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle East / ethnology
  • Phylogeny*
  • Siberia / ethnology
  • Time Factors

Grants and funding