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From: Bonnie Schrack <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Identifying Genetic Traces of Historical Expansions:,Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 2010 04:35:50 -0000


Dienekes wrote of:
> the unfortunate fact that
> even a well-funded project is still bothering with the same level of
> phylogenetic resolution (J2/E3b) that was the state of the art eight
> years ago, and is treating 7-marker haplotypes found all over Europe
> and Asia as evidence of "Phoenicians".

Exactly, I couldn't agree more! Of course we'd love to know more about
the Phoenicians, but I find this study unconvincing -- there are the
beginnings of some suggestive findings here, but nothing conclusive,
largely because of the terribly low phylogenetic resolution, as there
were so few STR and SNP markers tested. Also, there seems to be some
confusion in the organization of their phylogenetic tree and
nomenclature. What a shame that the renowned Genographic Project
couldn't do any better than this.

Yes, it is great to have the data, though they are minimal haplotypes,
because they give us a large number of samples from groups on which we
need much more data. IF ONLY they had made it reasonably clear exactly
which SNPs each sample was tested for and what the results were.

The labels for the J2 clades are completely unclear. What does J2a
refer to? The paper says they are using the same set of haplogroup
definitions as in Zalloua's 2008 paper on Lebanon. In that tree, J2a is
supposed to be defined by M47, a rare SNP which has never been found in
any substantial number of samples before. Yet there are considerable
numbers of their samples labeled "J2a." Could it be that the newer
meaning of J2a, that is, M410+, is being used, without acknowledgement
of the change? Also there are indecipherable clade names such as
"J2/-f*(xJ2f1)" and "J2/-f1*(xJ2f1a)", which, counterintuitively, seem
to signify groups defined by M410 and M67, respectively, though this
does not agree with the structure of either YCC or ISOGG's current or
former trees.

It would be valuable for someone to write to the corresponding author,
Chris Tyler-Smith, and ask for clarification of the haplogroup labeling.
I would like to, but a great deal is on my plate right now -- if
anyone wanted to get a joint message together, I'd be happy to add my
name. Experts in other haplogroups may want to contribute something
here about any questions that need to be asked regarding those groups.

Bonnie

Y-haplogroup J Project Admin


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