Published in

Elsevier (Cell Press), American Journal of Human Genetics, 3(72), p. 717-721

DOI: 10.1086/367774

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The Genetic Legacy of the Mongols

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Abstract

We have identified a Y-chromosomal lineage with several unusual features. It was found in 16 populations throughout a large region of Asia, stretching from the Pacific to the Caspian Sea, and was present at high frequency: approximately 8% of the men in this region carry it, and it thus makes up approximately 0.5% of the world total. The pattern of variation within the lineage suggested that it originated in Mongolia approximately 1,000 years ago. Such a rapid spread cannot have occurred by chance; it must have been a result of selection. The lineage is carried by likely male-line descendants of Genghis Khan, and we therefore propose that it has spread by a novel form of social selection resulting from their behavior.