Aboriginal remains were clearly pre-conquest for all the analyzed islands: Tenerife (2210 ± 60 to 1720 ± 60 BP), Gomera (1743 ± 40 to 1493 ± 40 BP), Hierro (1740 ± 50 to 970 ± 50 BP) and Gran Canaria (1410 ± 60 to 750 ± 60 BP) .It is clear that the aboriginal population was dominated by haplogroups E-M81, E-M78, J-M267. In the historical period (a few centuries ago) new haplogroups make their appearance (e.g., R1a) and a massive increase in the frequency of R1b is observed.
UPDATE (Aug 5):
There are several interesting observations one could make based on these results:
- The idea of European-descended fair-haired Guanches has taken a hit, as the aboriginal population looks largely like North African Berbers in terms of their Y-chromosomes. No real need to invoke mythical "Nordic" tribes as some have attempted to do.
- The common view about the dispersal of J-haplogroup in the West has been of early Neolithic dispersal of J2 agriculturalists, followed by J1 dispersal of Arabs, Jews, etc. This paper pretty much destroys that picture.
- The two most conspicuous "missing" haplogroups in the clearly pre-Indo-European population of the Canary Islands are J2 and R1a,.
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009, 9:181 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-9-181
Demographic history of Canary Islands male gene-pool: replacement of native lineages by European
Rosa Fregel et al.
The origin and prevalence of the prehispanic settlers of the Canary Islands has attracted great multidisciplinary interest. However, direct ancient DNA genetic studies on indigenous and historical 17th-18th century remains, using mitochondrial DNA as a female marker, have only recently been possible. In the present work, the analysis of Y-chromosome polymorphisms in the same samples, has shed light on the way the European colonization affected male and female Canary Island indigenous genetic pools, from the conquest to present-day times.
Autochthonous (E-M81) and prominent (E-M78 and J-M267) Berber Y-chromosome lineages were detected in the indigenous remains, confirming a North West African origin for their ancestors which confirms previous mitochondrial DNA results. However, in contrast with their female lineages, which have survived in the present-day population since the conquest with only a moderate decline, the male indigenous lineages have dropped constantly being substituted by European lineages. Male and female sub-Saharan African genetic inputs were also detected in the Canary population, but their frequencies were higher during the 17th-18th centuries than today.
The European colonization of the Canary Islands introduced a strong sex-biased change in the indigenous population in such a way that indigenous female lineages survived in the extant population in a significantly higher proportion than their male counterparts.
Link (provisional pdf)