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Thread: Pictish Y-DNA Marker Identified by BritainsDNA?

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    ON HIATUS UNTIL AUGUST Scarlet Ibis's Avatar
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    Pictish Y-DNA Marker Identified by BritainsDNA?

    I'm placing this in "general," because let's face it...The Telegraph, and most other popular news sites aren't exactly sources to take seriously for genetic matters.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...-Scotland.html




    Generations of historians have questioned why the Picts seemed to disappear from history after fighting the Romans and Vikings.

    But BritainsDNA has found a new DNA marker that suggests they are alive and well and “living among us”.

    Dr Jim Wilson, chief scientist for the group, has found a new Y chromosome marker that arose among the direct ancestors of the Picts.

    He tested the new “fatherline” in more than 3,000 British and Irish men and found an “amazing statistic” suggesting it was ten times more common in men with Scottish grandfathers, than in men with English grandfathers.

    Ten per cent of the more than 1,000 Scottish men tested carry the R1b-S530 marker, while less than one per cent of Englishmen have it.

    Dr Wilson said the difference was “highly statistically signiflicant” and could be applied to the general population. About three per cent of men in Northern Ireland also carry the marker, but it was only seen once in more than 200 men from the Republic of Ireland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Ibis View Post
    I'm placing this in "general," because let's face it...The Telegraph, and most other popular news sites aren't exactly sources to take seriously for genetic matters.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...-Scotland.html

    I am gretly optimistic that we will be able to isolate such SNP's in the future.

    Sadly Alastair Moffat and BritainsDNA have been making wild, unsubstantiated claims in the press, which has diminished their credibility.

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    Senior Member Ian B's Avatar
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    If the R1b-S530 marker is identifying the descendants of Pictish people, and R1b originated in Western Asia (as many believe it did), when did the Picts move to Scotland, and who was there before them?

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    Senior Member Jean M's Avatar
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    I think this thread would be better placed in Forum> Population Genetics > Y-Chromosome (Y-DNA) Haplogroups > R > R1b-P312

    The R1b experts hang about there and could have quickly said that Jim Wilson's R1b-S530 is the equivalent of L1335, which includes the Wales II cluster. Jim Wilson announced it as "the Pictish marker" in the Scotsman on 3 March this year, but in fact its subclade L1065 seems to be equivalent to the Scots modal, which Jim Wilson has always thought of as “Pictish”. He jumped the gun.

    See Jim Wilson's claim in the Scotsman http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/he...icts-1-2855561

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    Senior Member Jean M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian B View Post
    If the R1b-S530 marker is identifying the descendants of Pictish people, and R1b originated in Western Asia ... when did the Picts move to Scotland, and who was there before them?
    Picti was simply the name that the Romans gave to the Celtic tribes north of the Roman border in Britain. It means "painted" and refers to the traditional tattoos of the Celts, which the tribes outside the Roman province of Britannia had evidently continued to favour. The Celts lived all over the British Isles in Roman times. See Celtic tribes of the British Isles (click for link).

    Their arrival in these island was so much earlier that it was not documented. The names of the islands were Celtic, and these names were recorded by ancient Greek travellers centuries before the Romans arrived, but that still does not take us back very far BC. So the arrival of the Celts was in misty prehistory. Naturally people made up stories about it, as people generally do when they don't actually know. For facts we turn hopefully to archaeologists and linguists, but they don't necessarily agree among themselves.

    For a long time people favoured the idea that the Celts arrived in the British Isles in the Iron Age. That fitted the preconception that the only people we could definitely identify as Celts were the people of the La Tene culture. And certainly La Tene spread into Britain and the Northern part of Ireland in the late Iron Age. But that could not explain the fact that the whole of Ireland was dotted with Celtic tribes when Ptolemy wrote his famous Geography in the 2nd century AD. Nor could it explain how the Celtic name for Ireland - Iverio - from which its present name was derived, was known to the Greeks by the 4th century BC at least, and possibly as early as the 6th century BC. That was before La Tene material spread to Ireland. So nowadays archaeologists are looking at Bell Beaker as the period in which an early form of Celtic arrived.

    Before that there were Neolithic farmers in Britain and Ireland whose ancestors I think came from South-East Europe, and long before that the Near East. Before the farmers there were a few hunting bands roaming Britain and Ireland.

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    ON HIATUS UNTIL AUGUST Scarlet Ibis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    I think this thread would be better placed in Forum> Population Genetics > Y-Chromosome (Y-DNA) Haplogroups > R > R1b-P312

    Suggestion taken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Ibis View Post
    Suggestion taken
    Thank you, Scarlet. I ended up being slightly more specific. This is an R1b-L21 issue so I moved this under the L21 sub-category of P312. Sorry for the confusion.

    My understanding is that the underlying subclade that some refer to as the Scots Modal was identified by John McEwan using Y STR markers. McEwan defined an STR signature as R1bSTR47. You'll see R1bSTR47 referred to in "The Scots: A Genetic Journey", by Moffat and Wilson, 2011.

    I found this posting my John McEwan related to discussing the Dal Riata expansion from Ireland into Scotland and comparing R1bSTR47 (the Scots Modal) and R1bSTR19 (the NW Irish Modal or M222).

    Quote Originally Posted by John McEwan
    For what it is worth here are my views. The data to support them are on my website based on Ysearch.

    We know that R1bSTR47 cluster (that is commonly called Scots and is consistent with what is called Colla) is very frequent in Scotland less so in England and is nearly absent in Wales. It also has a 10 fold lower frequency in Ireland (2% vs 21% of R1b). An early analysis suggested that the group present in England (3%) has more diversity in their haplotypes (code for saying they are descended from an earlier ancestor then those in Scotland). The current distribution presented in the graph on the site which is not fully corrected for biases but suggests Argyll is the region of the highest concentration. However, in absolute numbers it is lowland Scotland around Glasgow. What impressed me was the major differences fall along historical borders: Scotland, England, Wales,
    Ireland. These have been present since at least Roman times so these differences most likely were established at or prior to that date.

    In the case of R1bSTR19 (aka Irish or IMH), their highest concentration is in Ireland (and a North West region of Ireland based on Moore et al). However, there is a substantial fraction in Scotland 9% vs 20%, but only 1% in England.

    Both are low in Wales and these two groups are not really significant in Europe (given the inherent limitations of the data).

    The Irish group is probably slightly older than the Scots group based on STR diversity, but both are quite old when compared to the diversity of R1b as a whole.

    Now any proposal has to account for the following:
    a) how did the distinctive clusters emerge?
    b) how do we explain their present geographical spread (or lack of), the
    absolute numbers and relative frequencies, and STR diversity?
    c) how consistent are the results with known history and prehistory?
    d) how can we reconcile it with the emerging SNP data?

    My working hypothesis is that R1BSTR19 is the signature of a successful line of early hunter gathers that colonized Ireland after the LGM. The very low number of people at that time meant that a successful male line with an unusual haplotype would leave a strong imprint. The fact that SRY2627+ are also infrequent in Ireland suggests these people left the Iberian refuge early before this variant became common. When agriculture was adopted this group, with a limited genetic base, expanded rapidly even if other more diverse R1b groups arrived at the same time. Subsequent "invasions" all have been from the east and generally southeast so this would dilute prevalence in these regions. On this basis it is not surprising that it is now at highest concentration in the West and North. Regards an estimate of age of the group I will simply refer people to its diversity relative to the diversity of R1b itself to conclude that it has to be very old and definitely pre-agriculture. David Wilson has expressed nearly identical views to this previously. This is not to say that there was not also very successful lineages within this group subsequently.

    Similar comments can be made about the R1bSTR47, but in this case we have to account for the larger STR diversity in England. My feeling is the group as a whole is younger than R1bSTR19 and was probably displaced or largely restricted to Scotland at some stage. It probably emerged at or prior to the introduction of agriculture. Its relative absence from Wales suggests that perhaps its expansion had something to do with agriculture. The most obvious event that created a border with Scotland which was maintained subsequently was when the Romans arrived, but the restriction on movement may have been present even before that time. Relative population expansions and AngloSaxon invasion would have taken care of the rest.

    Now there are holes in the current geographical data sampling, but I feel it is simply not credible to propose R1bSTR47, was a rare Irish haplotype that invaded Scotland and thrived in the last 1500 years. This does not explain its substantial numerical presence in England (even if only it is 3% of R1b there) nor its current observed diversity which is highest in England. This population in England CANNOT be explained by any immigration from Ireland in the last 1500 years.

    We then move to the relatively high frequency of R1bSTR19 (Irish) in Scotland. In my opinion this is clearly related to the Dal Riadic migration and possibly earlier shifts from Ireland.

    Now these groups may only be a distinctive tip of a larger group(s) within R1b that we cannot currently separate. We could take the frequency of other haplogroups in the various countries to obtain some estimate of the true proportion of "indigenous" R1b in England, Scotland and Ireland and it could be double the frequency of R1bSTR19 and R1bSTR47. This of course assumes the settlers after the LGM were overwhelmingly R1b.

    The current SNP data and the other semi distinctive R1b STR clusters all support this interpretation: R1bSTR19 and R1bSTR47 are distinctive R1b subgroups which occupy the same corner of the R1b universe as currently defined by SNPs. There very distinctiveness and diversity also give a good indication of their age.

    Now I do have a few issues and nagging doubts, Wales is one, and it is also poorly sampled. Its R1b does, however, seem different and varied. I would also love a good set of extended haplotypes of Northern Ireland.

    In summary, my working hypothesis is R1bSTR19 and R1bSTR47 are old R1b variants that emerged after the LGM in Ireland and Britain respectively and these indigenous (as in "Originating where it is found") descendants have been restricted to "less desirable" areas by subsequent immigration and population expansion in these Islands. The pressure of which in the Irish case led some of them to in turn emigrate, settle and mix with the other variety in Scotland.
    http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.co...-02/1139479547

    BTW, I don't agree with the aging he is using but we have to remember he was working with shorter haplotypes back then and didn't have knowledge of the R1b phylogenetic tree since the avalanche of SNPs were not known back then.
    Last edited by Mikewww; 05-15-2013 at 01:17 PM.

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    Senior Member Dubhthach's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to see a distribution map of L1335 and more specifically L1065 in Scotland. Also it would be good if they gave a breakdown of what the 90% of scottish haplogroups are.

    -Paul
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