August 01, 2005

Y-haplogroup Q3 in prehistoric Alaskan

Via the PalAnth forum, an interesting abstract presented in the AAAS meeting recently:
Analysis of Ancient DNA from an Individual from Prince of Wales Island: Implications for the Peopling of the New World

BRIAN M. KEMP et al.

Ancient mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA were successfully extracted from the teeth of an individual dated to 9,880 ± 50 (CAMS- 32038) and 9,730 ± 60 (CAMS-29873) excavated from On Your Knees Cave (site 49-PET-408) on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. d13C values of 12.1 and 12.5% suggest a diet of marine foods, so the date should be adjusted to c. 9,200 14C ybp. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of this individual belongs to haplogroup D and the Y-chromosome to haplogroup Q-M3*, which also confirms that the sex of the individual was male. This individual's mitochondrial haplotype (based on his hypervariable region I+II sequences) does not represent the basal haplogroup D lineage, demonstrating that multiple founder lineages ofthis haplogroup reached the New World. This haplotype matches or closely matches published sequences of Native American mtDNA found in populations of both North and South America, being found in approximately 1% of living Native Americans. The known date associated with this sample allows for the calibration of the molecular clock and can be used to assess the accuracy of earlier estimates of the timing of the peopling of the New World based on molecular diversity. This sample also establishes a minimum date for the emergence of the M3 Y-chromosome mutation, which is believed to have occurred early during the settlement of the New World.

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