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Monday, August 17, 2009

Y chomosome Genetic Landscape of the Levant

A new study of Y chromosome haplogroup distribution in the Levant, appearing in the Annals of Human Genetics, establishes a complex pattern of haplogroup distribution, especially with haplogroups J1 and J2, and theorizes on a coastal-inland contrast differentiating J1 and J2 in the Levant. The study included the DNA of 5874 men from the Levant and neighbouring regions, and the results established a coastal-inland, east-west pattern of diversity and frequency distribution within the Levant. The study again shows the most frequent haplogroup in Lebanon is Haplogroup J2, with a frequency of 29.4%. In the South of Syria, in the cities of Damascus and Diraa, J2 was present at frequencies of 24% and 83.3% respectively. In Lebanon, J2 was found in its highest frequencies at Zahle (37.5%) in the Bekaa Valley and at Byblos (36.4%).

Haplogroup J1 was revealed to show a larger frequency but lower diversity in inland regions of the Levant. The authors note most of the interior, where higher frequencies of J1 were found, were arid with semi-desert conditions which support a lower population diversity. Consistent with previous analyses, coastal Levantine regions showed a high frequency of Haplogroup J2.
"The diversified J2 reduced-median network and high coastal frequency suggest a sustained and non-interrupted presence of this haplogroup along the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean"

Geographical Structure of the Y-Chromosomal Genetic Landscape of the Levant: A coastal-inland contrast

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