Fathers and sons: the Y chromosome and human evolution

Trends Genet. 1995 Nov;11(11):449-56. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(00)89144-1.


It should be possible to use Y chromosome DNA polymorphisms to trace paternal lineages for evolutionary and other studies, but progress in these areas has been slow because it has been difficult to find suitable markers. However, it is now possible to use selected, slowly evolving polymorphisms to draw a rudimentary Y chromosome tree, while more rapidly evolving polymorphisms allow most independent Y chromosomes to be distinguished. Different populations often have characteristically different Y chromosomes, and Y chromosome studies are soon likely to make a major contribution to our understanding of the origins of modern humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • DNA
  • DNA Primers
  • Fathers
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Family
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Y Chromosome*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA