October 10, 2007

Y chromosomes from the Gulf of Oman

European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 10 October 2007; doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201934

Y-chromosome diversity characterizes the Gulf of Oman

Alicia M Cadenas


Arabia has served as a strategic crossroads for human disseminations, providing a natural connection between the distant populations of China and India in the east to the western civilizations along the Mediterranean. To explore this region's critical role in the migratory episodes leaving Africa to Eurasia and back, high-resolution Y-chromosome analysis of males from the United Arab Emirates (164), Qatar (72) and Yemen (62) was performed. The role of the Levant in the Neolithic dispersal of the E3b1-M35 sublineages is supported by the data, and the distribution and STR-based analyses of J1-M267 representatives points to their spread from the north, most likely during the Neolithic. With the exception of Yemen, southern Arabia, South Iran and South Pakistan display high diversity in their Y-haplogroup substructure possibly a result of gene flow along the coastal crescent-shaped corridor of the Gulf of Oman facilitating human dispersals. Elevated rates of consanguinity may have had an impact in Yemen and Qatar, which experience significant heterozygote deficiencies at various hypervariable autosomal STR loci.


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