Y chromosomal haplogroup J as a signature of the post-neolithic colonization of Europe

Hum Genet. 2004 Oct;115(5):357-71. doi: 10.1007/s00439-004-1168-9. Epub 2004 Aug 21.


In order to attain a finer reconstruction of the peopling of southern and central-eastern Europe from the Levant, we determined the frequencies of eight lineages internal to the Y chromosomal haplogroup J, defined by biallelic markers, in 22 population samples obtained with a fine-grained sampling scheme. Our results partially resolve a major multifurcation of lineages within the haplogroup. Analyses of molecular variance show that the area covered by haplogroup J dispersal is characterized by a significant degree of molecular radiation for unique event polymorphisms within the haplogroup, with a higher incidence of the most derived sub-haplogroups on the northern Mediterranean coast, from Turkey westward; here, J diversity is not simply a subset of that present in the area in which this haplogroup first originated. Dating estimates, based on simple tandem repeat loci (STR) diversity within each lineage, confirmed the presence of a major population structuring at the time of spread of haplogroup J in Europe and a punctuation in the peopling of this continent in the post-Neolithic, compatible with the expansion of the Greek world. We also present here, for the first time, a novel method for comparative dating of lineages, free of assumptions of STR mutation rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Northern
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y*
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Europe
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phylogeny*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences