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Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology

ISSN: 2329-9002

Open Access

Haplogroup J-Z640-Genetic Insight into the Levantine Bronze Age

Abstract

Michael Waas, Doron Yacobi, Leon Kull, Vadim Urasin, Gregory Magoon, Wim Penninx, Adam Brown and Ines Nogueiro

This article aims at researching the evolution of J-Z640 using an interdisciplinary approach in order to clarify the leading historical and anthropological events that shaped this particular branch of the human Y chromosome. We compiled a STR (short tandem repeat) and SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) dataset of 145 known or predicted J-Z640 samples among the customers of Family Tree DNA and Full Genomes Corporation, as well as publicly available samples. Amongst these, we analyzed the results of 41 samples that had undergone Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) and 32 samples that had undergone SNP testing using Sanger Sequencing. From this data, we constructed a J-Z640 phylogenetic tree that was dated using the method. Our data revealed that Haplogroup J-Z640 is a Y chromosome lineage found most notably, in several minority groups within the Near East such as the Samaritans, Druze, Armenians and Jews. J-Z640 originated during the Bronze Age, most likely in the Levant. During the Bronze Age the haplogroup rapidly expanded with multiple ancient branches surviving to the present, evidencing population growth. Further population expansion, and contraction, was also observed in later periods. Based on its geographic dispersal and age of the haplogroup and its subclades, the founder population most likely belonged to Canaanites found in the Levant. Following the collapse of the late Bronze age system, from the Iron Age onwards there followed a period of “differentiation by culture”, with many of the ancient branches surviving to the present separated along ethno-religious lines.

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