Paternal origin of Paleo-Indians in Siberia: insights from Y-chromosome sequences

Eur J Hum Genet. 2018 Nov;26(11):1687-1696. doi: 10.1038/s41431-018-0211-6. Epub 2018 Jul 10.


The expansion of modern humans to the American continent after the Last Glacial Maximum led the way to the present-day distribution of American aborigines. Recent advances in autosomal DNA research and expanded testing of mtDNA lineages has provided a clearer picture of the number and timing of founding lineages. However, both autosomal DNA and mtDNA research have provided unresolved competing theories between the short-term and the long-term models of the Beringian standstill hypothesis. Further, the source of founding paternal lineages of American aborigines and their relationship with ancient Siberia populations remains ambiguous. In this study, we reanalyzed a 7.0 Mbp region of 132 paternal Y-chromosome sequences, including 39 newly reported ones, of male samples from American aborigines and Eurasian populations. Among Eurasian samples, we identified Y-chromosome branches that are most closely related to known American aborigine founding lineages, that is, Q1-L804 links to Q1-M3, Q1-L330 links to Q1-Z780, Q1-M120 links to Q1-B143, and C2-F1756 links to C2-P39. The revised phylogenetic tree and age estimates indicate a narrow timeframe (~15.3-14.3 kya) for the upper time limit of human entry to the American continent. Our analysis suggests that the in situ differentiation of Q-M242 in Central Eurasia and South Siberia region gave rise to numerous sub-lineages older than 15.3 kya, and the founding of Paleo-Indian paternal lineages is part of the great Q1-L53 diffusion throughout the Eurasia after the Last Glacial Maximum. The results of our study will assist in future studies of the history of modern populations in Eurasia and the Americas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics*
  • Founder Effect
  • Human Migration*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / genetics*
  • North America
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Siberia