A recent common ancestry for human Y chromosomes

  title={A recent common ancestry for human Y chromosomes},
  author={Michael F. Hammer},
  • M. Hammer
  • Published 23 November 1995
  • Biology
  • Nature
THE male-specific portion of the Y chromosome is especially useful for studies of human origins. Patterns of nucleotide variation that are neutral with respect to fitness should permit estimates of when and where ancestral Y chromosomes existed1. However, variation on the human Y chromosome has been observed to be greatly reduced relative to the autosomes and the X chromosome2–5. One explanation is that selection for a favourable mutation on the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome has… 

Recent common ancestry of human Y chromosomes: evidence from DNA sequence data.

It is estimated that the spread of Y chromosomes out of Africa is much more recent than previously was thought, and the data indicate substantial population growth in the effective number of human Y chromosomes.

Mutation and variability of the human Y chromosome

An analysis of Y-chromosomal diversity in Southeast Asia and Oceania reveals that the present informative capacity of the human Y chromosome is sufficient to contribute meaningfully to many of the contentious issues debated heatedly amongst Pacific prehistorians.

Low levels of nucleotide diversity in mammalian Y chromosomes.

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A selective difference between human Y-chromosomal DNA haplotypes

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Sequencing Y Chromosomes Resolves Discrepancy in Time to Common Ancestor of Males Versus Females

The findings suggest that, contrary to previous claims, male lineages do not coalesce significantly more recently than female lineages.

A short tandem repeat-based phylogeny for the human Y chromosome.

A phylogenetic-network approach is developed and validated that produces a phylogeny that is independently supported by the five biallelic mutations, with an error of 6%.

Population growth of human Y chromosomes: a study of Y chromosome microsatellites.

The finding of a recent common ancestor (probably in the last 120,000 years), coupled with a strong signal of demographic expansion in all populations, suggests either a recent human expansion from a small ancestral population, or natural selection acting on the Y chromosome.



A recent insertion of an alu element on the Y chromosome is a useful marker for human population studies.

  • M. Hammer
  • Biology
    Molecular biology and evolution
  • 1994
Phylogenetic comparisons with other Alu sequences reveal that the YAP element is a member of the polymorphic subfamily-3 (PSF-3), a previously undefined subfamily of Alu elements, which support the hypothesis that recently inserted elements result from multiple source genes.

Absence of polymorphism at the ZFY locus on the human Y chromosome.

DNA polymorphism in the Y chromosome, examined at a 729-base pair intron located immediately upstream of the ZFY zinc-finger exon, revealed no sequence variation in a worldwide sample of 38 human males, indicating either a recent selective sweep, recent origin for modern Homo sapiens, recurrent male population bottlenecks, or historically small effective male population sizes.

Allelic genealogy and human evolution.

Although the population structure prior to the late Pleistocene is less clear, the nature of Mhc polymorphism suggests that the effective size of populations leading to humans was as large as 10(5), hence, the effective population size of humans might have become somewhat smaller in most of the late pleistocene.

Y chromosomal DNA variation and the peopling of Japan.

Four loci mapping to the nonrecombining portion of the Y chromosome were genotyped in Japanese populations from Okinawa, the southernmost island of Japan; Shizuoka and Aomori on the main island of Honshu; and a small sample of Taiwanese, confirming the irregular distribution of this polymorphism in Asia.

Sequence Evolution of Mitochondrial DNA in Humans and Chimpanzees: Control Region and a Protein-Coding Region

The results show that the pattern of substitution in the control region has diverged since chimpanzees and humans had a common ancestor, and reinforces estimates based on restriction mapping that the last common ancestor of the humans sampled existed less than 200,000 years ago.

Low nucleotide diversity in man.

The nucleotide diversity in humans is very low, probably due to a relatively small long-term effective population size rather than any severe bottleneck during human evolution.

Recent African origin of modern humans revealed by complete sequences of hominoid mitochondrial DNAs.

The shallow ancestry of human mtDNAs, together with the observation that the African sequence is the most diverged among humans, strongly supports the recent African origin of modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens.

Mitochondrial COII sequences and modern human origins.

The mitochondrial DNA sequence data from COII and ND4-5 regions therefore do not support this multiregional hypothesis for the emergence of modern humans and are compatible with a 1-Myr-old human mitochondrial ancestor.

Inferring the evolutionary histories of the Adh and Adh-dup loci in Drosophila melanogaster from patterns of polymorphism and divergence.

The analysis of within- and between-species polymorphism indicates that the Adh and Adh-dup region is evolving in a nonneutral and complex fashion, and two hypotheses are presented to account for the widespread distribution of the two divergent lineages in natural populations.