What is almost as good as publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed journal? What about getting your own DNA sequence published! This happened to me last year in the American Journal of Human Genetics
(IF = 11.680) by the group at the Universita' La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. The article "A Revised Root for the Human Y Chromosomal Phylogenetic Tree: The Origin of Patrilineal Diversity in Africa
" by Cruciani F., et al. brings the coalescence time of the common male ancestor of anatomically modern humans back to an additional ~70k years from the previously accepted ~60k estimate. One of the "ancient" male-inherited Y chromosome haplotypes employed in this study was indeed mine! (See image below).
I previously included something about the "weirdness" of my Y chromosome in the treatise I published on the issue of DNA and Book of Mormon (FARMS Review, 1, 2010, pp.191-227
). At that time, this is what I wrote about it:
"I was born and raised in Italy and can trace my paternal ancestry back several generations to the mid-seventeenth century AD. However, my Ycs belongs to haplogroup C, which has a frequency in southern Europe of less than 1 percent. Haplogroup C is mostly found in east Asia with a branch (C4) found among the aborigines of Australia. How did haplogroup C become part of my paternal ancestry? One possibility is that it is a remnant from an ancient military expansion from the East (e.g., Mongols or Huns) that reached to northern Italy."
Having worked in the molecular anthropology and genetic genealogy arenas for the past decade, it was natural that I wanted to run some analyses on my own DNA and learn about my genetic origins. However, the journey turned out to be a lot more fascinating and complex than expected. Earlier results from specialized labs placed my haplotype all over the Y chromosome phylogenetic tree
. I was first assigned to haplogroups F, J, R, and I, with different level of confidence. Ultimately, I had my DNA tested at Stanford University (Dr. Peter Underhill's lab), with the Genographic Project, at the University of Pavia, Italy (Prof. Ornella Semino's lab), and at the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy (Prof. Rosaria Scozzari's lab). Each lab performed extensive SNP testing on my Y chromosome and the consensus was that I belonged to a yet to be classified lineages within the C branch of the Y chromosome phylogeny. My Y chromosome was temporarily placed in the paragroup C*. The publication in the AJHG
last year is an additional step forward in understanding something about the intricate history and origin of my paternal lineage, which is not only very rare in the general worldwide population, but it is also very ancient in origin. The journey continues...