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Y Chromosomes Reveal Founding Father (Giocangga)
Nature ^ | 10-24-2005 | Charlotte Shubert

Posted on 10/25/2005 11:02:09 AM PDT by blam

Published online: 24 October 2005
Charlotte Schubert

Y chromosomes reveal founding father

Did conquest and concubines spread one man's genes across Asia?

The Manchu warriors took control of China in 1644.

© Punchstock

About 1.5 million men in northern China and Mongolia may be descended from a single man, according to a study based on Y chromosome genetics1.

Historical records suggest that this man may be Giocangga, who lived in the mid-1500s and whose grandson founded the Qing dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 to 1912.

The analysis is similar to a controversial study in 2003, which suggested that approximately 16 million men alive today are descended from the Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan2.

The male descendants of Giocangga, like Khan's sons and grandsons, ruled over vast swathes of land, living a lavish existence with many wives and concubines. The study published in this month's American Journal of Human Genetics suggests it was a good strategy for reproductive success.

"This kind of male reproductive advantage is perhaps a more important feature of human genetics than we thought," says Chris Tyler-Smith, at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, who led both studies.

Fossilized Y

Documenting the immense fecundity of these conquerors involves overlaying historical records and genetic analyses. Most informative is the small Y chromosome, holed up in the cells of every man, and relatively resistant to change.

Other chromosomes furiously exchange genetic information with each other. But during mating, the Y pairs up with the X, a giant chromosome by comparison and a poor fit for gene swapping. This means that the Y chromosome passes along steadily from father to son through the generations, providing a relatively fixed marker for clues about ancestry.

In the recent analysis, Tyler-Smith and his colleagues in Britain and China examined the Y chromosome of about 1,000 men in eastern Asia. The researchers compared the DNA sequences at numerous locations along the Y chromosome, finding close similarities among 3.3% of the men. That genetic similarity suggests that these men shared a common male ancestor who lived about 600 years ago, give or take a few centuries.

To identify who spawned this prolific Y chromosome, Tyler-Smith and his colleagues turned to their history books. They found Giocangga, whose grandson led the Manchu conquest of China in 1644 and established the Qing dynasty.

A large class of noblemen, descended by law from Giocangga, then ruled the state until 1912. Even a low-rank noble had many concubines, and was presumably expert at spreading Giocangga's chromosome around.

Further supporting Tyler-Smith's theory, the Manchu in the army mixed with only certain ethnic groups, and today these groups have the highest frequency of Giocangga's Y chromosome.

Only Genghis Khan's Y chromosome approaches the prevalence of Giocangga's, popping up in about 2.5% of the men, says Tyler-Smith.

Whose Y?

Getting a precise date for the origin of the chromosome is difficult, say geneticists, and pinning it to a historical figure is even less exact.

"But all geneticists know we are living fossils," says Steve Jones of University College London, who adds that the Giocangga hypothesis is "not unreasonable". Martin Richards, a human geneticist at the University of Leeds, UK, says that Tyler-Smith's analysis showing a common origin for the Y chromosome is among the most thorough he has seen.

However, others dispute the findings. The date for the origin of the Y chromosome is much too wobbly to pin on Giocangga, says Stanford's Luca Cavalli-Sforza. He also disputes the study on Genghis Khan and says both findings are overly sensational.

The investigators could help their case by examining the Y chromosome of known descendents of Giocangga. But that might be easier said than done.

Although the noble class had 80,000 members by 1912, the Chinese cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s caused people to hide their noble descent for fear of persecution, and many records were destroyed. Several men today who are known to trace their ancestry back to Giocangga would not yield their DNA, the scientists say.

If this study and the work on Khan are right, they suggest that winning Y chromosomes thrive on hierarchy, patriarchy and conquest. "They tell us that those who regard history as the record of human frailty, weakness and disaster are right," says Jones.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chromosomes; crevolist; dna; father; founding; genghiskhan; genocide; giocangga; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; mongolmassmurderers; mtdna; polygamy; reveal; y

1 posted on 10/25/2005 11:02:10 AM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 10/25/2005 11:02:48 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
we are living fossils

On another thread somebody is looking for some kind of information coded into the DNA by space aliens. This must be world DNA day.

3 posted on 10/25/2005 11:05:08 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: blam

It's good to be the King


4 posted on 10/25/2005 11:05:14 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: blam
a lavish existence with many wives and concubines. The study [...] suggests it was a good strategy for reproductive success.

Captain Obvious Strikes Again!

5 posted on 10/25/2005 11:05:55 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: blam
The male descendants of Giocangga, like Khan's sons and grandsons, ruled over vast swathes of land, living a lavish existence with many wives and concubines. The study published in this month's American Journal of Human Genetics suggests it was a good strategy for reproductive success.

Such penetrating insight.

6 posted on 10/25/2005 11:05:59 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: blam

Adenine-thyamine-cytosine-guanine Ping!


7 posted on 10/25/2005 11:07:51 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: wildbill
It's good to be the King


8 posted on 10/25/2005 11:08:25 AM PDT by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
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To: RightWhale
"On another thread somebody is looking for some kind of information coded into the DNA by space aliens. "

I saw that. I didn't bother to comment though.

9 posted on 10/25/2005 11:21:25 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
About 1.5 million men in northern China and Mongolia may be descended from a single man,

Well, I see my calling. The benchmark is set, all there is to do is go forth and multiply.

10 posted on 10/25/2005 11:26:56 AM PDT by BostonianRightist (I looted New Orleans and all I got was 40 of these lousy taglines.)
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To: blam

"Most informative is the small Y chromosome, holed up in the cells of every man, and relatively resistant to change."

Not true. The Y chromosome has the highest mutation frequency of any chromosome.


11 posted on 10/25/2005 11:30:12 AM PDT by razoroccam (Then in the name of Allah, they will let loose the Germs of War (http://www.booksurge.com))
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To: pabianice

"Adenine-thyamine-cytosine-guanine "

Its thymidine, not thyamine (that is a vitamin)


12 posted on 10/25/2005 11:31:02 AM PDT by razoroccam (Then in the name of Allah, they will let loose the Germs of War (http://www.booksurge.com))
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To: blam
...caused people to hide their noble descent for fear of persecution

Yeah, I know how that feels :)

Hey, no wonder they all look the same!

JUST KIDDING !!

13 posted on 10/25/2005 11:34:44 AM PDT by ExpatCanuck
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To: blam; wildbill; add925; TheBigB; Pharmboy; CobaltBlue; Tijeras_Slim; Fierce Allegiance; ...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The start of a very new, very wrong, family tree.

14 posted on 10/25/2005 11:41:30 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro

LOL! My original link to the King prompted a new thread by someone: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1508997/posts


15 posted on 10/25/2005 11:43:31 AM PDT by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
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To: BostonianRightist
"About 1.5 million men in northern China and Mongolia may be descended from a single man,"

- 1.5 million descendent's within a 500 year time-span is not such a big deal. Slick Willy has been at it for only 40 years and he is already estimated to be up to 15 thousand. If bathrooms didn't have sinks, he could have easily doubled that number by now.
16 posted on 10/25/2005 11:58:16 AM PDT by finnigan2
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To: razoroccam

"Its thymidine, not thyamine (that is a vitamin)"

Actually, it's thymine. They're related thus says the Columbia Encyclopedia "Combined with the sugar deoxyribose in a glycosidic linkage, thymine forms a derivative called thymidine (a nucleoside)..."


17 posted on 10/25/2005 12:11:04 PM PDT by Paine in the Neck
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To: Paine in the Neck

True - I assumed his spelling was a bit generous regarding "thyamine" to be "thymine". But, as you correctly point out, Thymidine (that is the right spelling) is a derivative of Thymine.


18 posted on 10/25/2005 12:16:37 PM PDT by razoroccam (Then in the name of Allah, they will let loose the Germs of War (http://www.booksurge.com))
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To: razoroccam
True - I assumed his spelling was a bit generous regarding "thyamine" to be "thymine". But, as you correctly point out, Thymidine (that is the right spelling) is a derivative of Thymine.

No big deal; I was just funnin' ya.

19 posted on 10/25/2005 12:21:17 PM PDT by Paine in the Neck
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To: RightWhale

"living fossil"....My 92 YO mother-in-law wears "that" RIBBON, a gift from my daughter.....LOL....


20 posted on 10/25/2005 12:21:56 PM PDT by litehaus
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To: blam

No, and that is appropriate as a management choice. However, Bacon recommended boning up somewhat on these fringe areas of knowledge as part of a full, well-rounded education. That would not imply that any degree of belief is necessary, but some familiarity is necessary to anyone who must deal with people, because people give these fringe subjects much more attention than they deserve in themselves.


21 posted on 10/25/2005 12:44:57 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: litehaus

We might be more like libraries than dinosaur museums. They might have burnt the Alexandria library in stages and destroyed the source data for Ptolemy's Almagest in the process, but so long as there is a living human the entire story of that which is closest to us, the tattered tent, or most of it, is right there if we learn how to read it.


22 posted on 10/25/2005 12:51:35 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam. "Y chromosomes?" "Y not?!?"

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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23 posted on 10/25/2005 10:20:02 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated my FR profile on Sunday, August 14, 2005.)
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To: blam

There was a pretty remarkable show on PBS about a fellow who's studdying the markers on the Y chromosome. By mapping out the trees of the markers, he determined that mans most ancient relatives are basically what we would call the Kalahari Bushmen. But the odd thing was that the next place the marker was discovered wasn't Europe or Asia, it was the walkabouts... the Australian aborigines.

One fascinating part of the show, not necessarily about genetics, showed the folks who live in the far northern parts of Russia, I guess you'd call them laplanders.

Absolutely dependent on reindeer. Totally. There is no vegetation there, except for meager blue green algae. And the only thing that can eat it is the reindeer. So these folks live, breathe, eat and sleep with one goal in mind: keep the reindeer herds flourishing.

An incredibly specialized niche.


24 posted on 10/25/2005 10:35:14 PM PDT by djf (Government wants the same things I do - MY guns, MY property, MY freedoms!)
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To: blam
If this study and the work on Khan are right, they suggest that winning Y chromosomes thrive on hierarchy, patriarchy and conquest. "They tell us that those who regard history as the record of human frailty, weakness and disaster are right," says Jones.

I fail to see any connection between this study and how whiners and losers see history. Am I missing something?

25 posted on 10/26/2005 6:29:44 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: blam

"Did conquest and concubines spread one man's genes across Asia?"

Some guys have all the luck. Nice work, if you can get it.

Seriously though, I did get back my Genographic project results, they are very interesting. I am apparently in Haplogroup R1a, with other interesting results as well.


26 posted on 10/26/2005 7:31:19 AM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
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To: blam
News flash: Go back far enough and EVERYBODY is descended from one man and one woman. Can I have a million bucks for my research?
27 posted on 10/29/2005 3:36:01 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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28 posted on 10/03/2008 4:01:29 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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