Deep phylogenetic analysis of haplogroup G1 provides estimates of SNP and STR mutation rates on the human Y-chromosome and reveals migrations of iranic speakers

Oleg Balanovsky, Maxat Zhabagin, Anastasiya Agdzhoyan, Marina Chukhryaeva, Valery Zaporozhchenko, Olga Utevska, Gareth Highnam, Zhaxylyk Sabitov, Elliott Greenspan, Khadizhat Dibirova, Roza Skhalyakho, Marina Kuznetsova, Sergey Koshel, Yuldash Yusupov, Pagbajabyn Nymadawa, Zhaxybay Zhumadilov, Elvira Pocheshkhova, Marc Haber, Pierre A. Zalloua, Levon YepiskoposyanAnna Dybo, Chris Tyler-Smith, Elena Balanovska

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Y-chromosomal haplogroup G1 is a minor component of the overall gene pool of South-West and Central Asia but reaches up to 80% frequency in some populations scattered within this area. We have genotyped the G1-defining marker M285 in 27 Eurasian populations (n= 5,346), analyzed 367 M285-positive samples using 17 Y-STRs, and sequenced ∼11 Mb of the Y-chromosome in 20 of these samples to an average coverage of 67X. This allowed detailed phylogenetic reconstruction. We identified five branches, all with high geographical specificity: G1-L1323 in Kazakhs, the closely related G1-GG1 in Mongols, G1-GG265 in Armenians and its distant brother clade G1-GG162 in Bashkirs, and G1-GG362 in West Indians. The haplotype diversity, which decreased from West Iran to Central Asia, allows us to hypothesize that this rare haplogroup could have been carried by the expansion of Iranic speakers northwards to the Eurasian steppe and via founder effects became a predominant genetic component of some populations, including the Argyn tribe of the Kazakhs. The remarkable agreement between genetic and genealogical trees of Argyns allowed us to calibrate the molecular clock using a historical date (1405 AD) of the most recent common genealogical ancestor. The mutation rate for Y-chromosomal sequence data obtained was 0.78×10-9 per bp per year, falling within the range of published rates. The mutation rate for Y-chromosomal STRs was 0.0022 per locus per generation, very close to the so-called genealogical rate. The "clan-based" approach to estimating the mutation rate provides a third, middle way between direct farther-to-son comparisons and using archeologically known migrations, whose dates are subject to revision and of uncertain relationship to genetic events.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0122968
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 7 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Balanovsky, O., Zhabagin, M., Agdzhoyan, A., Chukhryaeva, M., Zaporozhchenko, V., Utevska, O., Highnam, G., Sabitov, Z., Greenspan, E., Dibirova, K., Skhalyakho, R., Kuznetsova, M., Koshel, S., Yusupov, Y., Nymadawa, P., Zhumadilov, Z., Pocheshkhova, E., Haber, M., Zalloua, P. A., ... Balanovska, E. (2015). Deep phylogenetic analysis of haplogroup G1 provides estimates of SNP and STR mutation rates on the human Y-chromosome and reveals migrations of iranic speakers. PLoS ONE, 10(4), [e0122968].