May 13, 2012

Y chromosomes in Haiti and Jamaica (Simms et al. 2012)

The paper investigates the different signals of patrilineal ancestry in two Caribbean islands, finding the expect signals of European and African ancestry, as well as minor other signals from the New World, East Asia, and even South Asia.

I will just point out the presence of a DE* chromosome in Jamaica. Such chromosomes have occasionally turned up in both Asia and Africa, and they ought to be an object of further study, preferrably with full Y-chromosome sequencing technology, since a better resolution of the DE-YAP haplogroup's structure will go a long way towards solving many puzzles about prehistory.

Am J Phys Anthropol. 2012 May 11. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22090.

Y-chromosomal diversity in Haiti and Jamaica: Contrasting levels of sex-biased gene flow.

Simms TM, Wright MR, Hernandez M, Perez OA, Ramirez EC, Martinez E, Herrera RJ.


Although previous studies have characterized the genetic structure of populations from Haiti and Jamaica using classical and autosomal STR polymorphisms, the patrilineal influences that are present in these countries have yet to be explored. To address this lacuna, the current study aims to investigate, for the first time, the potential impact of different ancestral sources, unique colonial histories, and distinct family structures on the paternal profile of both groups. According to previous reports examining populations from the Americas, island-specific demographic histories can greatly impact population structure, including various patterns of sex-biased gene flow. Also, given the contrasting autosomal profiles provided in our earlier study (Simms et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 142 (2010) 49-66), we hypothesize that the degree and directionality of gene flow from Europeans, Africans, Amerindians, and East Asians are dissimilar in the two countries. To test this premise, 177 high-resolution Y-chromosome binary markers and 17 Y-STR loci were typed in Haiti (n = 123) and Jamaica (n = 159) and subsequently utilized for phylogenetic comparisons to available reference collections encompassing Africa, Europe, Asia (East and South), and the New World. Our results reveal that both studied populations exhibit a predominantly South-Saharan paternal component, with haplogroups A1b-V152, A3-M32, B2-M182, E1a-M33, E1b1a-M2, E2b-M98, and R1b2-V88 comprising 77.2% and 66.7% of the Haitian and Jamaican paternal gene pools, respectively. Yet, European derived chromosomes (i.e., haplogroups G2a*-P15, I-M258, R1b1b-M269, and T-M184) were detected at commensurate levels in Haiti (20.3%) and Jamaica (18.9%), whereas Y-haplogroups indicative of Chinese [O-M175 (3.8%)] and Indian [H-M69 (0.6%) and L-M20 (0.6%)] ancestry were restricted to Jamaica.



AdygheChabadi said...

I am slightly surprise by the small, but signicant, presence of 'Chadic' Y-Hap R1b...

Although, Haiti was a French colony and so was maybe not so surprising...

Northern Cameroun being where the highest frequencies are found...Y-Hap R1b-V88.

Ebizur said...

Does the full paper indicate whether the researchers have tested the DE-YAP(xE-M96) Y-chromosome from Jamaica for any marker of haplogroup D? If they have not tested for any marker of haplogroup D, then this individual should be considered only as DE(xE) and not as DE*. The Jamaican sample includes a characteristically Chinese (or even specifically Southern Chinese) array of O-M175 subclades (2/159 O1a-M119, 1/159 O2-M268, 2/159 O3a-M324(xO3a3b-M7), 1/159 O3a2b-M7), so it is not inconceivable that the researchers might have sampled a Jamaican carrier of haplogroup D of Chinese patrilineal ancestry.

Lank said...

I am slightly surprise by the small, but signicant, presence of 'Chadic' Y-Hap R1b...

They found R-V88 in one Jamaican and no Haitians. That's not significant.

pconroy said...

The Jamaican population is also showing some Jewish or Near Eastern ancestry. I see Jewish specific J1e, and possibly DE* from a Middle Eastern source - after all DE* was found in a Syrian recently.

AdygheChabadi said...

Hello, Lank!

A few corrections first...'surprised'...'Cameroon'. Typing on a mobile browser.

Now, if I read the chart says that Y-Hap R1b-V88* is at frequency of 4.88% in Haiti and 0.63% in Jamaica...Y-Hap R1b-M18 is at 0.63% in Jamaica as well, but not detected in Haiti.

Also, Ebizur...Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and a few other East Asian groups live throught the Caribbean, Central, and South America. There are over 1 million people of Japanese heritage in Brazil and a sizable population in Peru also. There also South Asians, brought as workers by the Portuguese and Spanish (many of them anyway), in these same regions which could account for the detection of some South Asian haplogroups.

It is known that there are some Japanese immigrants in the DE* could represent their presence or some other East Asian group, like the could also just as likely reprent Nigerian heritage as paragroup DE-YAP* has been found there.

eurologist said...


They typed for M174. It's unfortunate that we likely will not know whether this individual has African or Asian male ancestry.

AndrewV said...

Any results from Jamaica, no matter how improbable it may appear to some, will not elicit any surprise from me.

I lived there for nine years, and I was frequently confronted with some pretty exotic combinations within that population.

Lank said...


You're right. My mistake.

AndrewV said...


There are a fair number of Syrians and Lebanese, I believe most arrived fairly recently (late 19th century) and collectively they are known as Syrians. While this group has been fairly exogenous, a significant number practise cousin marriage.

The Jews apparently arrived much earlier than the above group, in the late 15th century. Like the Syrians, there has also been a fair amount of exogamy and assimilation.

I also wanted to comment on two of the Asian groups, Chinese and Indians but I am out of time.

Unknown said...

They were known as Lebanese and were almost completely integrated, a comfortable facet of Jamaican culture. They had a very peaceful image and came from an earlier migration than the current global Lebanese communities (which have a very different image).

Edward Seaga was even Prime Minister.

Unknown said...

I got curious about when the Lebanese arrived and I found this link which was interesting to me, so I thought I would share it.:)

Unknown said...

Something is wrong here.
AJPA_22090_sm_Su (as I dont have full access)

I cannot believe that all trace of Native American Y haplogroups was wiped out in Haiti. There appears to be no C or P/Q*.

Jamaica has a little P/Q* that maybe could be native, maybe?

I would love to know if Arawak Y haplogroups survived in Jamaica.

The other thing is Jamaica was 65% E and 15% R(xR1a). Haiti 69% E and 20% R(xR1a). This is very different from Afram populations (30% European).

matt said...

I wish all the authors would realize there are more SNPs out there for all the haploid groups. It would also help to publish the STRs for all the subjects, so that the STRs can be used to indicate the SNPs in those cases where that works.

Unknown said...

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