December 01, 2010

Y-chromosomes of Maronites from Lebanon

The freely available supplementary material contain a real treasure trove of Y-STR haplotypes for different populations of Lebanon and from Iran.

UPDATE: The paper uses the wrong Zhivotovsky et al. "evolutionary" mutation rate, hence their age estimates are inflated 3-fold. Hence, their conclusion that religion differences were superimposed on an already structured population is also wrong, in my opinion.

The write, for example that:
The Christian–Muslim split dated to 3475 (2000–6025) ybp for pooled Muslims and 3325 (1875–4225) ybp for pooled Christians.
Divide these by 3 and you get about 1.2ky which is quite close (given the huge confidence intervals, of course) to the arrival of Islam to the country. Once again, the genealogical mutation rate conforms with history, while the "evolutionary" one suggests a speculative scenario about the supposed long-term maintenance of structure on which the Islam-Christian distinction was superimposed.

European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 1 December 2010; doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2010.177

Influences of history, geography, and religion on genetic structure: the Maronites in Lebanon

Marc Haber et al.

Cultural expansions, including of religions, frequently leave genetic traces of differentiation and in-migration. These expansions may be driven by complex doctrinal differentiation, together with major population migrations and gene flow. The aim of this study was to explore the genetic signature of the establishment of religious communities in a region where some of the most influential religions originated, using the Y chromosome as an informative male-lineage marker. A total of 3139 samples were analyzed, including 647 Lebanese and Iranian samples newly genotyped for 28 binary markers and 19 short tandem repeats on the non-recombinant segment of the Y chromosome. Genetic organization was identified by geography and religion across Lebanon in the context of surrounding populations important in the expansions of the major sects of Lebanon, including Italy, Turkey, the Balkans, Syria, and Iran by employing principal component analysis, multidimensional scaling, and AMOVA. Timing of population differentiations was estimated using BATWING, in comparison with dates of historical religious events to determine if these differentiations could be caused by religious conversion, or rather, whether religious conversion was facilitated within already differentiated populations. Our analysis shows that the great religions in Lebanon were adopted within already distinguishable communities. Once religious affiliations were established, subsequent genetic signatures of the older differentiations were reinforced. Post-establishment differentiations are most plausibly explained by migrations of peoples seeking refuge to avoid the turmoil of major historical events.

Link

16 comments:

aargiedude said...

Off topic.

Dienekes, could you copy/paste the commands you use in R to generate the admixture plots of Dodecad? I didn't realize R is a full blown language, and I'm having problems trying to replicate the exact color palette you used, generating a plot of each population without showing its individuals, and generating the legend for the color codes.

Dienekes said...

google: RColorBrewer for the palette.

I may release the code I've written over the course of the Project once it's properly documented.

If you want to plot each population rather than all individuals, you should create a matrix with #Pops rows and #Clusters columns and fill it in with the average (taken with the _mean_ function) values. Then use the example given in the ADMIXTURE manual.

terryt said...

"Our analysis shows that the great religions in Lebanon were adopted within already distinguishable communities. Once religious affiliations were established, subsequent genetic signatures of the older differentiations were reinforced".

As I've long suspected. Religion just reinforces tribalism. In fact it is tribalism.

Creative said...

I'm of Palestinian "Greek Orthodox" decent and also a Haplo G man.

Gioiello said...

Unfortunately the paper isn't for free, but, being among the authors Spencer Wells and Zalloua, what must we think? That Mediterranean people are of Phoenician descent (which was the first sponsored version) or that Lebanese derive from many Mediterranean peoples, which was the second version, when many haplogroups were said to come from Europeans (Crusades etc.)?

Creative said...

Without wanting to generalize, but Phoenician obsession is a Maronite specialty which sometimes bears strange fruit.
Example.
http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenicianGoddess

Arab “Greek Orthodox’s” have the tendency to strive in the other direction like George Habash or Michel Aflaq.

Gioiello said...

If Asherah was so, I think that God lost many becoming single.

terryt said...

"being among the authors Spencer Wells and Zalloua, what must we think?"

I'm still waiting for Spencer Wells' paper on the Philippine Negritos. Wonder what's happened to it?

aargiedude said...

Second time a certain curious very local R1b haplotype is observed in Lebanon (first was in Zalloua, 2008). It's an R1b1b2 cluster with 439=13 and 389a=12, the latter being particularly rare in R1b1b2. In this study this cluster makes up 1,5% of Lebanon's y-dna, while in Zalloua's study, with twice as many samples as this one, it made up 2,0% of their y-dna. The rest of the haplotype markers of these samples indicate the cluster isn't "Ashkenazi-like" recent, though it's not very diverse, either.

There's no connection between the haplogroups and religion. The same was observed in Zalloua's 2008 study.

The study tested 388 and 426. Nice. Especially as regards R1b. Gioiello, unlike Zalloua's study, with this one we will be able to determine their specific P312- (ht35) subclades, because of course the P312- sublineages differ notably from each other in their values of 426 and 388.

Thorn said...

@Gioiello
Did u read the papers you've listed or judged it from their title and author list as u did for this new one?
btw u missed this
http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/jhg2010131a.html
Lebanese came from Africa?

Thorn said...

@Dienekes
"Once again, the genealogical mutation rate conforms with history"
did u check the other split dates on the tree? what would the genealogical mutation rate be for those, would it conform with history? ex Greek Orthodox and Maronites? How would admixture affect the times?

Dienekes said...

did u check the other split dates on the tree? what would the genealogical mutation rate be for those, would it conform with history? ex Greek Orthodox and Maronites? How would admixture affect the times?

Well, the Cypriot Maronites split first in the tree. This is consistent with them fleeing during or soon after the Islamization period and/or having some Cypriot admixture.

The various Christian groups split later, and I don't see a very clean split (geography seems to interfere), and that's consistent with later ecclesiastical developments and with occasional intermarriage between the various Christian sects.

Ponto said...

Your division by three does coincide with the Muslim push into the Levant but it could all be mere coincidence.

Arab type people have been moving into the Levant and Mesopotamia long before Muhammad was a twinkle in his father Abdullah's eye. Those folks that built Petra in Jordan were Arabic speakers and they traded and moved all over the Near East and Middle East. Prior to Islam arising in Central Arabia various Christian Arabs from Yemen moved to the Levant e.g the Ghanassids. Something to do with that Dam, the Marib, breaking down for the third and last time displacing many of those Arab tribes.

Creative said...

I personally have no interest in political agendas, nor do I have any problem calling myself an Arab.
But if anyone is truly interested in the history of Arabs as pastoral nomads should look into this book, which is a true pearl on the History of Pre- and Islamic Arabs.
It brings traditional views on Arabs “pro and contra” to topple.

The Arabs in antiquity: their history from the Assyrians to the Umayyads Von Jan Retsö
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Routledge; 1st edition (December 6, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0700716793
ISBN-13: 978-0700716791

Google books
http://books.google.com/books?id=pUepRuQO8ZkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=history+arabs&hl=de&ei=QvT4TNHUNYn0sgbi643IAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

Kepler said...

Thanks, Creative, for the recommendation.

I first took a look at the Excel looking for a close match to me (haplogroup J2) and found one person who shared ten DYSs of the 13 I got tested. Now 2 DYSs, which were tested for these individuals, do not appear for that person: DYS388 and DYS439 are left empty.

Can anyone explain me why those values are empty? Are these loci particularly difficult to examine or something?

Gioiello said...

Creative, many thanks for all these videos. It’s the first time that Arab language sounds sweet and where do they come from all these Lebanese Asherahs with blue eyes? Perhaps a genetic enquire is useless to determine how much European genes they have.
When Gods will have fallen, perhaps we will able to feel each others what we are: brothers.