Origin and diffusion of human Y chromosome haplogroup J1-M267

Hovhannes Sahakyan, Ashot Margaryan, Lauri Saag, Monika Karmin, Rodrigo Flores, Marc Haber, Alena Kushniarevich, Zaruhi Khachatryan, Ardeshir Bahmanimehr, Jüri Parik, Tatiana Karafet, Bayazit Yunusbayev, Tuuli Reisberg, Anu Solnik, Ene Metspalu, Anahit Hovhannisyan, Elza K. Khusnutdinova, Doron M. Behar, Mait Metspalu, Levon YepiskoposyanSiiri Rootsi, Richard Villems

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10 Scopus citations


Human Y chromosome haplogroup J1-M267 is a common male lineage in West Asia. One high-frequency region—encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, southern Mesopotamia, and the southern Levant—resides ~ 2000 km away from the other one found in the Caucasus. The region between them, although has a lower frequency, nevertheless demonstrates high genetic diversity. Studies associate this haplogroup with the spread of farming from the Fertile Crescent to Europe, the spread of mobile pastoralism in the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula, the history of the Jews, and the spread of Islam. Here, we study past human male demography in West Asia with 172 high-coverage whole Y chromosome sequences and 889 genotyped samples of haplogroup J1-M267. We show that this haplogroup evolved ~ 20,000 years ago somewhere in northwestern Iran, the Caucasus, the Armenian Highland, and northern Mesopotamia. The major branch—J1a1a1-P58—evolved during the early Holocene ~ 9500 years ago somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, and southern Mesopotamia. Haplogroup J1-M267 expanded during the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Most probably, the spread of Afro-Asiatic languages, the spread of mobile pastoralism in the arid zones, or both of these events together explain the distribution of haplogroup J1-M267 we see today in the southern regions of West Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6659
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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