Y-Chromosome haplotypes reveal relationships between populations of the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa and South Asia

Rebecca J. Jones, Guan K. Tay, Aurélie Mawart, Habiba Alsafar

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Background: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is positioned at the crossroads of human migration out of Africa and through to Asia and Europe. Aim: To compare the degree of genetic diversity of the Arabian UAE population with populations in other countries from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa. Subjects and methods: Twenty-seven Y-STR were analysed in 217 individuals. Y-STR haplotypes from this study were compared to population data stored in YHRD, using MDS and AMOVA. Results: Two hundred and twelve haplotypes were observed in the 217 individuals studied. Although the reduction in Y-STR loci from 27 to 17 resulted in a decrease in discriminatory power, comparisons of populations were possible. The UAE population clustered closer with other populations of the Middle East. The South Asian and North African populations were separated by Middle Eastern populations in between both clusters. Conclusion: This is the first study to report the diversity of a population of the Arabian Peninsula using 27 Y-STR. MDS plots show that Middle Eastern populations are positioned in the centre, with African, Asian and European populations around the Arab population cluster. The findings of this study are consistent with this region being at the epicentre of human migration between continents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-746
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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