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Thread: Correlating the mtDNA haplogroups of the original Y-haplogroup J1 and T1 herders

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post Correlating the mtDNA haplogroups of the original Y-haplogroup J1 and T1 herders

    A recent paper on Madagascar Y-DNA and mtDNA made me realise that Y-haplogroups J1 and T1 probably both spread from the northern Zagros after having become nomadic herders during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Both haplogroups are usually found together in Europe, in the Arabian peninsula, Egypt, the Horn of Africa and Madagascar.

    This made me wonder what could have been the original mitochondrial haplogroups linked to the diffusion of J1 (mostly J1-P58) and T. In order to achieve this I had to compare the mtDNA lineages found in places where Y-haplogroups J1 and T were found in relative isolation from other Western Eurasian paternal lineages. The best places for that are the Horn of Africa, where J1 and T are practically the only Middle Eastern lineages present, if we except E1b1b, which seems to have originated in the region and would therefore correspond exclusively to mtDNA L. Sudan and Yemen are also interesting as they have high percentages of J1, but hardly any T. These places might provide an opportunity to distinguish the maternal equivalents of J1 from those of T (as long as J1 and T didn't form a single ethnic group during their southward Neolithic migration).

    Middle Eastern mtDNA of Yemeni

    Data from Kivisild et al. 2004 (n=115).

    • K = 10%
    • M* = 7%
    • R0/HV = 5%
    • H = 4%
    • N1 = 8%
    • U(xU6) = 8%
    • J = 6%
    • X = 2%
    • M1 = 1%
    • T = 1%
    • HV1 = 0%
    • W = 0%

    Middle Eastern mtDNA of Sudanese

    Data from Afonso et al. 2004 (n=102). The percentages are approximate as only the pie chart is available. The total of Eurasian lineages is 22.5%, while M1 is at 4.9%

    • (pre)HV + H = 9%
    • M1 = 4.9%
    • J1 + T = 3%
    • U5 = 3%
    • K = 2%
    • M7 = 2%
    • U6 = 2%
    • N1 = 1%

    Middle Eastern mtDNA of Ethiopians

    Data from Kivisild et al. 2004 (n=270).

    • M1 = 17%
    • N1 = 4%
    • T = 3%
    • J = 2%
    • HV1 = 2%
    • U(xU6) = 2%
    • (pre)HV = 1.4%
    • H = 1%
    • K = 1%
    • W = 1%
    • X = 1%

    Middle Eastern mtDNA of Somalians

    Data from Mikkelsen et al. 2012 (n=190).

    • M1 = 15.3%
    • N1 = 10.0%
    • R0 = 5.8%
    • K1 = 4.7%
    • U3/U9 = 2.1%
    • HV = 1.6%

    I have excluded U6 and U9, who both seem to be African lineages. M1 is found almost only on the African side of the Red Sea, with only 1 or 2% in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, but is otherwise not present in the Fertile Crescent region, and can therefore be excluded.

    Based on the above data, it would seem that the maternal equivalent of J1 and T could include haplogroups HV, N1, U3, and K1.

    Haplogroup HV reaches its maximum frequency in Mesopotamia and the Zagros, and matches very well the distribution of Y-haplogroup T.

    Haplogroup N1 includes three Middle Eastern varieties N1a, N1b and N1c, which are found at equal frequencies (2.5% each) in Saudi Arabia. The studies for Ethiopia and Somalia do not specify the subclades, but apparently only N1a has been found in Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt), especially among Semitic speakers. N1a is almost absent from Kurdistan and the Caucasus, meaning that it was probably native to the Arabian peninsula. Interestingly, N1a was also the variety of N1 found in many Neolithic sites in Europe. N1b is a common Jewish lineage and is also found in parts of the Middle East, Caucasus and Europe. It might have originated in the Fertile Crescent. N1b is commonest in the Arabian peninsula, the southern Levant (including Jewish people) and the central Caucasus (southwest Daghestan, Chechenya, Ossetia), where haplogroup J1 and J2 are dominant. N1c is mostly confined to the Arabian peninsula. Therefore haplogroup N1 appears to have originated with Y-haplogroup J or T.

    Haplogroup U3 is most common in Jordan, Syria and in the North Caucasus. It could have been a minor lineage of either J1 or T.

    Haplogroup K is particularly common in Daghestan, Georgia, Assyria, and the south of the Arabian peninsula. In my opinion, it was one of the original mt-haplogroups of Y-DNA G2a, J1 and R1b.

    I would also add mt-haplogroup J, which is very strong in Saudi Arabia (21%) and Mesopotamia and is almost certainly linked to Y-haplogroup J1.

    Haplogroup U5 was found only in Sudan, where some ethnic groups like the Hausa possess substantial levels of R1b-V88. U5 is found in all R1b population in Africa and Eurasia and therefore almost certainly came with R1b in Sudan and not with J1 or T.


    The original carriers of Y-haplogroup J1 during the Neolithic probably carried mt-haplogroups J, K, T and U3.

    The original carriers of Y-haplogroup T1 probably carried mt-haplogroups HV, N1a and U3.

    Mt-haplogroups M1, R0 (pre-HV) and U6 were native of the Arabian peninsula (R0) and Northeast Africa (M1 and U6) and were assimilated by J1 migrants since the Neolithic. All three lineages are found in all North Africa and East Africa, from Morocco to Egypt and from Egypt to Kenya. They probably represent the original maternal lineages of Y-haplogroup E1b1b. Many L lineages are also linked to E1b1b, especially L3 (except L3b and L3e) and L5.

    Mt-haplogroups N1 probbaly originated with Y-haplogroup J1 and/or T, although E1b1b cannot be ruled out.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 01-03-14 at 11:40.
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