Global distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroup C reveals the prehistoric migration routes of African exodus and early settlement in East Asia

J Hum Genet. 2010 Jul;55(7):428-35. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2010.40. Epub 2010 May 7.


The regional distribution of an ancient Y-chromosome haplogroup C-M130 (Hg C) in Asia provides an ideal tool of dissecting prehistoric migration events. We identified 465 Hg C individuals out of 4284 males from 140 East and Southeast Asian populations. We genotyped these Hg C individuals using 12 Y-chromosome biallelic markers and 8 commonly used Y-short tandem repeats (Y-STRs), and performed phylogeographic analysis in combination with the published data. The results show that most of the Hg C subhaplogroups have distinct geographical distribution and have undergone long-time isolation, although Hg C individuals are distributed widely across Eurasia. Furthermore, a general south-to-north and east-to-west cline of Y-STR diversity is observed with the highest diversity in Southeast Asia. The phylogeographic distribution pattern of Hg C supports a single coastal 'Out-of-Africa' route by way of the Indian subcontinent, which eventually led to the early settlement of modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia. The northward expansion of Hg C in East Asia started approximately 40 thousand of years ago (KYA) along the coastline of mainland China and reached Siberia approximately 15 KYA and finally made its way to the Americas.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa / ethnology
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics*
  • Emigration and Immigration / history*
  • Far East
  • Gene Frequency / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Geography*
  • Haplotypes / genetics*
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Time Factors