View Full Version : Explaining the colours used for Y-DNA haplogroups on Eupedia

02-10-12, 18:12
Ever since the genetics section of Eupedia was launched in 2008, I have been using the same set of colours to differentiate haplogroups. These are the colours used in frequency tables (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml) and distribution maps (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/maps_Y-DNA_haplogroups.shtml), for example. The colours were not chosen haphazardly. I have always had the habit, since my childhood, of attributing colours to categories in a way that is easy to remember.

I attributed haplogroup R1a the colour yellow, because I estimated that it was the best candidate for the ethnicity that spread blond hair genes, since blond hair is found exclusively in population where R1a is present, and at equal latitude tend to decrease in frequency with the percentage of R1a (South Asia obviously has less blond hair because of the progressive dilution of autosomal DNA of the original R1a carriers from Russia through Central Asia).

I chose red for haplogroup R1b because I had a presentiment from the very beginning that R1b was associated with red haired people - an idea that I have now developed into an article (http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/origins_of_red_hair.shtml). I chose dark red for Celtic branches of R1b, and (slightly orange) bright red for the Germanic S21/U106 branch. The reason is that Germanic people are blonder and also have a considerable amount of R1a in their admixture.

On the haplogroup tree, haplogroup R1 is orange, as an intermediary between the two. I also used orange on migration maps for areas with mixed or undetermined R1a and R1b populations (such as the Yamna culture).

Haplogroup I is blue for two reasons. As the haplogroup of Ice Age Europeans, it matches the colour of the ice and the colour generally associated with cold climates. I also thought that blue eyes probably originated in Palaeolithic Europe, although this trait was probably shared with R1a Europeans too. The shades of blue are a north-south gradient, with the Nordic I1 the lightest, and the Mediterranean I2a1 the darkest, reflecting the higher probability of I1 of having blue eyes.

Haplogroup J is green because it is the colour usually associated with Middle Eastern cultures (and Islam), where hg J is the most common. It also seemed like a natural choice for the closest cousin of haplogroup I, to stay in similar cold colours (as opposed to the warm red and yellow of R1b and R1a).

Haplogroup G is grey as I originally associated with the Caucasus mountains (and rocks are grey). Also by default from lack of other good colour.

Haplogroup E1b1b is beige/light brown, as a representation of the arid landscape of the (mostly southern) Mediterranean, North and East Africa, where it is most common. It also correspond to the skin colour of North Africans.

Haplogroup T is dark brown, as it is usually found hand in hand with E1b1b, but far more in East Africa, where people have darker skin than in North Africa.

Haplogroup N is purple because it is a colour that I associate with the cold climate with little sun light of Siberia.

Haplogroup Q is pink, as a shade between the purple of N and the red of R1b, since it is a cousin of these two haplogroups. Pink is also a popular colour in Northeast Asia, where Q is more present than in Europe.

03-10-12, 00:18

What about the Cameroonians and Indians that have R1b, do they have red hair too? Do you have any basic understanding of what a y-chromosome is?