Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1119986760

From: Max Blankfeld <>
Subject: Spencer Wells about Jefferson's Haplogroup
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 14:26:00 -0500


Spencer Wells asked me to bring to you his following remarks related to
Jefferson's Haplogroup:

"As part of our genetic analyses for the film SEARCH FOR ADAM, we analyzed
additional markers on Jefferson's Y-chromosome in an effort to determine
why it is so unusual. If you recall the original Hemmings paper in Nature
by Foster et al., the haplotype was 'rare', which is what enabled them to
implicate Jefferson as the source rather than another European. At the
time there were no matches among the 607 European men (Jefferson's father
claimed Welsh ancestry) who had been genotyped for the same 11
microsatellites. Recent searches of more comprehensive databases have
turned up related haplotypes belonging to haplogroups O, K and Q. We
investigated the 12 microsatellites routinely typed by FTDNA, which did not
add to the haplogroup resolution. SNP testing, however, revealed that
Jefferson's Y is positive for M70, which places him in haplogroup K2. K2
is rare in northern Europe (only one K was found among 1772 British men
surveyed by Capelli et al., but it wasn't typed for M70) but quite common
in the Middle East and northeast Africa, where it reaches frequencies of
10% or more. Interestingly, another person typed in the film, the
Ethiopian prince, is also K2, but many mutational steps removed from
Jefferson. We are currently looking at potential source populations for
Jefferson's K2 as part of a broader survey of Y-chromosome variation in the
Middle East and North Africa, and expect to submit a publication by the end
of the year. I'm sure that all of you will appreciate the amount of effort
that has gone into launching The Genographic Project, and hope that you
will understand that our publication schedule has been somewhat delayed as
a result.

Spencer Wells
Mission Programs
National Geographic Society"

E-mail me any time!

Max Blankfeld
Vice-President, Operations and Marketing
"History Unearthed Daily"


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