< Back to previous page


Mediterranean Y-chromosome 2.0 - Why the Y in the Mediterranean is still relevant in the postgenomic era

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Due to its unique paternal inheritance, the Y-chromosome has been a highly popular marker among population geneticists for over two decades. Recently, the advent of cost-effective genome-wide methods has unlocked information-rich autosomal genomic data, paving the way to the postgenomic era. This seems to have announced the decreasing popularity of investigating Y-chromosome variation, which provides only the paternal perspective of human ancestries and is strongly influenced by genetic drift and social behaviour. Moreover, since worldwide communities of citizen scientists – rather than professionals – are investigating the Y-chromosome in great detail in favour of their individual genealogical research, the impression is growing among scholars not to invest time in the male chromosome anymore. For the special issue of this journal on population genetics of the Mediterranean, we want to demonstrate that the Y-chromosome still provides important insights in the postgenomic era and in a time when ancient genomes are becoming exponentially available. In this review, several applications of Y-chromosomal analysis with future opportunities are discussed and illustrated with examples of studies on Mediterranean populations, going from reconstruction of male-specific demographic events to ancient DNA applications, surname history and population-wide estimations of extra-pair paternity rates. Moreover, we argue that there will be no reduced interest in population genetic data of Y-chromosomal markers for forensic research, and that more initiatives are required to include Y-chromosomal data in studies on male infertility and in GWAS investigations.
Journal: Annals of Human Biology
ISSN: 0301-4460
Issue: 1
Volume: 45
Pages: 20 - 33
Publication year:2018
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:2
Authors from:Higher Education