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Descendants of Zohrab of the Manuchariants

Genetic History of Peter Douglas Zohrab (Y-Chromosome)

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This is the Genographic Project's statement as at 25 August 2015. It is incomplete, as it is not based on the level of detailed genetic analysis that is reflected in the later data mentioned on the page Y-chromosome (Male Line) DNA-testing Results.


Branch: P305
Age: More than 100,000 years old
Location of Origin: Africa

The common direct paternal ancestor of all men alive today was born in Africa between 300,000 and 150,000 years ago. Dubbed “Y-chromosome Adam” by the popular press, he was neither the first human male nor the only man alive in his time. He was, though, the only male whose Y-chromosome lineage is still around today. All men, including your direct paternal ancestors, trace their ancestry to one of this man’s descendants. The oldest Y-chromosome lineages in existence, belonging to the A00 branch of the tree, are found only in African populations.

Around 100,000 years ago the mutation named P305 occurred in the Y chromosome of a man in Africa. This is one of the oldest known mutations that is not shared by all men. Therefore, it marks one of the early splits in the human Y-chromosome tree, which itself marks one of the earliest branching points in modern human evolution. The man who first carried this mutation lived in Africa and is the ancestor to more than 99.9% of paternal lineages today. In fact, men who do not carry this mutation are so rare that its importance in human history was discovered only in the past two years.

As P305-bearing populations migrated around the globe, they picked up additional markers on their Y chromosomes. Today, there are no known P305-bearing individuals without these additional markers.

Around 80,000 years ago, the BT branch of the Y-chromosome tree was born, defined by many genetic markers, including M42. The common ancestor of most men living today, some of this man’s descendants would begin the journey out of Africa to the Middle East and India. Some small groups from this line would eventually reach the Americas, while other groups would settle in Europe, and some would remain near their ancestral homeland in Africa.

Individuals from this line whose ancestors stayed in Africa often practice cultural traditions that resemble those of the distant past. For example, they often live in traditional hunter-gatherer societies. These include the Mbuti and Biaka Pygmies of central Africa, as well as Tanzania’s Hadza.

When humans left Africa, they migrated across the globe in a web of paths that spread out like the branches of a tree, each limb of migration identifiable by a marker in our DNA. For male lineages, the M168 branch was one of the first to leave the African homeland.

The man who gave rise to the first genetic marker in your lineage probably lived in northeast Africa in the region of the Rift Valley, perhaps in present-day Ethiopia, Kenya, or Tanzania. Scientists put the most likely date for when he lived at around 70,000 years ago. His descendants became the only lineage to survive outside of Africa, making him the common ancestor of every non-African man living today.

Your nomadic ancestors would have followed the good weather and the animals they hunted, although the exact route they followed remains to be determined. In addition to a favorable change in climate, around this same time there was a great leap forward in modern humans’ intellectual capacity. Many scientists believe that the emergence of language gave us a huge advantage over other early humanlike species. Improved tools and weapons, the ability to plan ahead and cooperate with one another, and an increased capacity to exploit resources in ways we hadn’t been able to earlier allowed modern humans to rapidly migrate to new territories, exploit new resources, and replace other hominids such as the Neanderthals.
This mutation is one of the oldest thought to have occurred outside of Africa and therefore marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of modern humans. Moving along the coastline, members of this lineage were some of the earliest settlers in Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

But why would man have first ventured out of the familiar African hunting grounds and into unexplored lands? The first migrants likely ventured across the Bab-al Mandeb strait, a narrow body of water at the southern end of the Red Sea, crossing into the Arabian Peninsula and soon after developing mutation P143—perhaps 60,000 years ago. These beachcombers would make their way rapidly to India and Southeast Asia, following the coastline in a gradual march eastward. By 50,000 years ago, they had reached Australia. These were the ancestors of some of today’s Australian Aborigines.

It is also likely that a fluctuation in climate may have contributed to your ancestors’ exodus out of Africa. The African ice age was characterized by drought rather than by cold. Around 50,000 years ago, though, the ice sheets of the Northern Hemisphere began to melt, introducing a short period of warmer temperatures and moister climate in Africa and the Middle East. Parts of the inhospitable Sahara briefly became habitable. As the drought-ridden desert changed to a savanna, the animals hunted by your ancestors expanded their range and began moving through the newly emerging green corridor of grasslands.

The next male ancestor in your ancestral lineage is the man who gave rise to M89, a marker found in 90 to 95 percent of all non-Africans. This man was likely born around 55,000 years ago in Middle East.

While many of the descendants of M89 remained in the Middle East, others continued to follow the great herds of wild game through what is now modern-day Iran, then north to the Caucasus and the steppes of Central Asia. These semiarid, grass-covered plains would eventually form an ancient “superhighway” stretching from France to Korea. A smaller group continued moving north from the Middle East to Anatolia and the Balkans, trading familiar grasslands for forests and high country.


Branch: M578
Age: About 50,000 Years Old
Location of Origin: Southwest Asia

After settling in Southwest Asia for several millennia, humans began to expand in various directions, including east and south around the Indian Ocean, but also north toward Anatolia and the Black and Caspian Seas. The first man to acquire mutation M578 was among those that stayed in Southwest Asia before moving on.
Fast-forwarding to about 40,000 years ago, the climate shifted once again and became colder and more arid. Drought hit Africa and the Middle East and the grasslands reverted to desert, and for the next 20,000 years, the Saharan Gateway was effectively closed. With the desert impassable, your ancestors had two options: remain in the Middle East, or move on. Retreat back to the home continent was not an option.

The next male ancestor in your ancestral lineage is the man who gave rise to P128, a marker found in more than half of all non-Africans alive today. This man was born around 45,000 years ago in south Central Asia and was likely part of the second wave of migrants to move east from Southwest Asia.

Some of the descendants of P128 migrated to the southeast and northeast, picking up additional markers on their Y chromosomes. This lineage is the parent of several major branches on the Y-chromosome tree: O, the most common lineage in East Asia; R, the major European and Central Asian Y-chromosome lineage; and Q, the major Y-chromosome lineage in the Americas. These descendant branches went on to settle the rest of Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Still many others traveled to Southeast Asia, and some descendants of P128 individuals moved across the waters south and east and are most commonly seen in Oceanian and Australian Aboriginal populations.


Branch: M526
Age: About 42,000 Years Old
Location of Origin: South or Southeast Asia

The man who first carried mutation M526 was part of the second wave of settlers that migrated around the Indian Ocean and settled in Southeast Asia. This mutation is shared by men from haplogroups M, N, O, P, Q, R, and S; these are groups common in East Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.


Branch: M45
Age: Around 35,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: Central Asia or South Asia

This paternal ancestor traveled with groups to the open savannas between Central and South Asia during the Paleolithic. These big-game hunters were the parents to two of the most widespread male lineages in modern populations, one that is responsible for the majority of pre-Columbian lineages in the Americas (haplogroup Q)—among others from Asia and Europe—and one that spread farther north and west into Asia and produced the highest frequency lineages in European populations (haplogroup R).
Today, members of this lineage who do not belong to a descendant branch (haplogroups Q or R) are rare, and geneticists have found them most often in India. These populations include such diverse groups as the Saora (23 percent), the Bhumij (13 percent), and Muslims from Manipur (33 percent).


Branch: M207
Age: About 30,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: Central Asia

M207 was born in Central Asia around 30,000 years ago. His descendants would go on to settle in Europe, South Asia and the Middle East over the following 20,000 years. Today, most western European men belong to one branch—R-M342—that descended from this lineage. While it appears to have been one of the earliest lineages to settle in Europe more than 25,000 years ago, more recent population expansions associated with the post-glacial repopulation of northern Europe after the end of the last ice age, as well as the spread of agriculture during the Neolithic, also contributed to its high frequency in Ireland, the UK, France and Spain.
One descendant lineage—R-L62—is common in Eastern Europe and India, and was likely spread in part through the migration of Indo-European steppe nomads over the past 5,000 years.


Branch: P231
Age: 25,000 – 30,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: Central Asia

The Paleolithic ancestor who founded this lineage lived a nomadic lifestyle. His descendants include two major descendant branches that today account for most European men and many others from Central Asia, West Asia, and South Asia.


Branch: M343
Age: 17,000 – 22,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: South Asia or West Asia

The first members of this lineage lived as hunter-gatherers on the open savannas that stretched from Korea to Central Europe. They took part in the advances in hunting technology that allowed for population growth and expansions.

When the Earth entered a cooling phase, most from this line sheltered in refugia to the southeast of Europe and in West Asia. It was from these refugia that their populations rapidly expanded when the ice once more receded. Some traveled west across Europe. Others moved back toward their distant ancestors’ homelands in Africa, passing through the Levant region. Through these movements and the population boom triggered by the Neolithic Revolution, this lineage and its descendant lineages came to dominate Europe.
Today, it has a wide distribution. In Africa, geneticists have found this lineage in Northern Africa (6 percent) and central Sahel (23 percent). Its frequency in Europe is at times high and at other times moderate. It represents about 7 percent of Russian male lineages, about 13 percent of male lineages in the Balkans, about 21 percent of Eastern European male lineages, 55 to 58 percent of Western European lineages, and about 43 percent of Central European male lineages. In Asia, most men of this lineage are found in West Asia (6 percent) and South Asia (5 percent). However, trace frequencies of around half a percent from this lineage are present in East Asia.









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Latest Update

10 October 2015