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Thread: mtDNA Haplogroup U among pre-historic Eurasian hunter-gatherers

  1. #1
    J Man
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    mtDNA Haplogroup U among pre-historic Eurasian hunter-gatherers

    It is now quite clear that mtDNA haplogroup U and namely it's subclades U5, U4 and U2 made up a very substantial part of the maternal lineages of Eurasian hunter-gatherers in pre-historic times and extended all the way from Iberia in the far west of Eurasia deep into Siberia in the far east where they mixed with East Asian (Mongoloid) type peoples at some points in the past. These ancient mtDNA haplogroup U peoples in Siberia were probably ancient Caucasoid Cro-Magnon types when it comes to phenotype. We know that U types mainly of the U5, U4 and U2 types made up the majority of maternal lineages among ancient European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and interestingly enough U types have appeared among Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from much further east into Siberia. It would seem then that the presence of mtDNA haplogroup U in Eurasia then is extremely old. Some of the U subclades were probably present among the earliest farming peoples of the Near East as well such as the U3 and K (subclade of U8) subclades. In this thread though I am focusing on the U types that were present among the ancient hunter-gatherer peoples of Eurasia who adopted farming later on after it spread out of the Near East. It is probably pretty safe now to say that the original Cro-Magnons of Europe would have carried quite a bit of mtDNA haplogroup U among them. Actually some ancient results from Kostenki in Russia and Dolni Vestonice in Czech Rep. have shown that these Cro-Magnon type peoples did possess U types. These tables with ancient DNA results that I will link below shows how widespread U types were among Eurasian hunter-gatherers from the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic ages. It seems that after the Neolithic many of these U lineages were replaced especially in Europe by new haplogroups arriving mainly or at least expanding mainly with Neolithic farming communities carrying a whole new array of mtDNA haplogroups such as T, J, H, K (U subclade) and more.

    http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/palaeolithicdna.shtml

    http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/mesolithicdna.shtml

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Man View Post
    It is now quite clear that mtDNA haplogroup U and namely it's subclades U5, U4 and U2 made up a very substantial part of the maternal lineages of Eurasian hunter-gatherers in pre-historic times and extended all the way from Iberia in the far west of Eurasia deep into Siberia in the far east where they mixed with East Asian (Mongoloid) type peoples at some points in the past. These ancient mtDNA haplogroup U peoples in Siberia were probably ancient Caucasoid Cro-Magnon types when it comes to phenotype. We know that U types mainly of the U5, U4 and U2 types made up the majority of maternal lineages among ancient European Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and interestingly enough U types have appeared among Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from much further east into Siberia. It would seem then that the presence of mtDNA haplogroup U in Eurasia then is extremely old. Some of the U subclades were probably present among the earliest farming peoples of the Near East as well such as the U3 and K (subclade of U8) subclades. In this thread though I am focusing on the U types that were present among the ancient hunter-gatherer peoples of Eurasia who adopted farming later on after it spread out of the Near East. It is probably pretty safe now to say that the original Cro-Magnons of Europe would have carried quite a bit of mtDNA haplogroup U among them. Actually some ancient results from Kostenki in Russia and Dolni Vestonice in Czech Rep. have shown that these Cro-Magnon type peoples did possess U types. These tables with ancient DNA results that I will link below shows how widespread U types were among Eurasian hunter-gatherers from the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic ages. It seems that after the Neolithic many of these U lineages were replaced especially in Europe by new haplogroups arriving mainly or at least expanding mainly with Neolithic farming communities carrying a whole new array of mtDNA haplogroups such as T, J, H, K (U subclade) and more.

    http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/palaeolithicdna.shtml

    http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/mesolithicdna.shtml
    I would not disagree with it being very old, say 45000 ybp for R-U, but I have a feeling that when it entered Europe some other mtDNA types were already there. I think U came in with the mammoth hunters.
    Let's see if that Svante Pääbo test reports U or R in middle upper Siberia 45000ybp.

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    I would not include U2, U4 and U5 in the same population movements. The earliest U2 in Europe, at Kostenki, Russia, is an extinct branch of U2. U2a, U2b, U2c, and U2d are found primarily from South Asia to the Near East. The earliest U2e in Europe is Blätterhöhle, Germany dated at about 11 kya, but a full sequence is not available for this sample. The greatest diversity in U4 is in Russia, Siberia and eastern Europe, so I'd guess that it expanded from an Ukraine or eastern Europe refugium, while U5 seems to have expanded mostly from southern European refugia.

    Hopefully we will see more pre-LGM full sequences, but at present the only pre-LGM samples in Europe are the Dolni Vestonice samples, an extinct U8c lineage and the two U5 samples (now officially U5 with the recent Phylotree update), and Mal'ta in Siberia, an extinct U*, and Kosteki and extinct U2.

    My guess is that people were extremely mobile and that with more pre-LGM samples, we will find other U haplogroups and other non-U haplgroups as well, but it may be unlikely that some of these lineages survived the LGM. One of the more interesting results of the ancient mtDNA is that there was a great deal of diversity that apparently did not survive to the present.

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    And not to forget Neanderthals were still in Europe c. 45,000 years ago when U and R, etc. moved into western Europe.

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  9. #5
    J Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by GailT View Post
    I would not include U2, U4 and U5 in the same population movements. The earliest U2 in Europe, at Kostenki, Russia, is an extinct branch of U2. U2a, U2b, U2c, and U2d are found primarily from South Asia to the Near East. The earliest U2e in Europe is Blätterhöhle, Germany dated at about 11 kya, but a full sequence is not available for this sample. The greatest diversity in U4 is in Russia, Siberia and eastern Europe, so I'd guess that it expanded from an Ukraine or eastern Europe refugium, while U5 seems to have expanded mostly from southern European refugia.

    Hopefully we will see more pre-LGM full sequences, but at present the only pre-LGM samples in Europe are the Dolni Vestonice samples, an extinct U8c lineage and the two U5 samples (now officially U5 with the recent Phylotree update), and Mal'ta in Siberia, an extinct U*, and Kosteki and extinct U2.

    My guess is that people were extremely mobile and that with more pre-LGM samples, we will find other U haplogroups and other non-U haplgroups as well, but it may be unlikely that some of these lineages survived the LGM. One of the more interesting results of the ancient mtDNA is that there was a great deal of diversity that apparently did not survive to the present.
    Are there any pre-LGM mtDNA lines that survived down to the present day in Europe do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Man View Post
    Are there any pre-LGM mtDNA lines that survived down to the present day in Europe do you think?
    The two Dolni Vestonice U5 samples show continuity from the pre-LGM to the the Mesolithic. But given that there are only 5 reliable pre-LGM mtDNA samples from Eurasia, it is possible that other haplogroups might also have continuity. We need a much larger pre-LGM sample size.

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  12. #7
    J Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by GailT View Post
    The two Dolni Vestonice U5 samples show continuity from the pre-LGM to the the Mesolithic. But given that there are only 5 reliable pre-LGM mtDNA samples from Eurasia, it is possible that other haplogroups might also have continuity. We need a much larger pre-LGM sample size.
    I think that pretty much all or at least the vast majority of the U5 individuals in Europe today or descended from Europeans have direct maternal lines that have been in Europe since the Upper Paleolithic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Man View Post
    I think that pretty much all or at least the vast majority of the U5 individuals in Europe today or descended from Europeans have direct maternal lines that have been in Europe since the Upper Paleolithic.
    I think it's possible that some U5 migrated to the east, and may have been incorporated into farmer or herder cultures, and then returned to central and western Europe with migrations of farmers, and perhaps later, migrations of Indo-European speakers to Europe. This seem especially possible with the larger subclades of U5a1 and U5a2 which seem to have expanded rapidly in size and diversity around 8000 to 6000 years ago. While we have a U5a2a ancient mtDNA samples in Germany, the large size and variability in U5a2a1 might suggest a different history for U5a2a1 compared to its sister clades. The same might be true for U5a1a, U5a1b, and U5a2b.

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  16. #9
    J Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by GailT View Post
    I think it's possible that some U5 migrated to the east, and may have been incorporated into farmer or herder cultures, and then returned to central and western Europe with migrations of farmers, and perhaps later, migrations of Indo-European speakers to Europe. This seem especially possible with the larger subclades of U5a1 and U5a2 which seem to have expanded rapidly in size and diversity around 8000 to 6000 years ago. While we have a U5a2a ancient mtDNA samples in Germany, the large size and variability in U5a2a1 might suggest a different history for U5a2a1 compared to its sister clades. The same might be true for U5a1a, U5a1b, and U5a2b.
    And what do you think about my own mtDNA U5b2c2 clade? Most likely an origin among the West European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who's ancestors spent the LGM in Iberia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Man View Post
    And what do you think about my own mtDNA U5b2c2 clade? Most likely an origin among the West European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who's ancestors spent the LGM in Iberia?
    Yes, Iberian or perhaps Franco-Catabrian. U5b seems to have a more western origin compared to U5a.

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