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. 2005 Mar;116(4):279-91.
doi: 10.1007/s00439-004-1201-z. Epub 2005 Jan 20.

Signature of Recent Historical Events in the European Y-chromosomal STR Haplotype Distribution

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Signature of Recent Historical Events in the European Y-chromosomal STR Haplotype Distribution

Lutz Roewer et al. Hum Genet. .

Abstract

Previous studies of human Y-chromosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs) established a link between the extant Y-SNP haplogroup distribution and the prehistoric demography of Europe. By contrast, our analysis of seven rapidly evolving Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat loci (Y-STRs) in over 12,700 samples from 91 different locations in Europe reveals a signature of more recent historic events, not previously detected by other genetic markers. Cluster analysis based upon molecular variance yields two clearly identifiable sub-clusters of Western and Eastern European Y-STR haplotypes, and a diverse transition zone in central Europe, where haplotype spectra change more rapidly with longitude than with latitude. This and other observed patterns of Y-STR similarity may plausibly be related to particular historical incidents, including, for example, the expansion of the Franconian and Ottoman Empires. We conclude that Y-STRs may be capable of resolving male genealogies to an unparalleled degree and could therefore provide a useful means to study local population structure and recent demographic history.

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