Y-DNA Haplogroup R, SNPs, and Subclades (e.g. R1a, R1b > R1b-M222)

Haplogroups are large branches of the ancient human family tree, as evidenced by specific SNP

mutations. Haplogroups have letter names A-R assigned by the Y Chromosome Consortium [39].

Sub-divided haplogroups (subclades) can have long string names (e.g. R1b1a1a2a1a2c1a1a1a1),

was shown on the isogg tree [17], although our current practice shows only the ‘terminal SNP’:

e.g. FTDNA’s M269, R-M269, or R1b-M269, all showing M269 as one man’s terminal SNP;

alternatively, M222, R-M222, or R1b-M222, all show M222 (below M269) as the terminal SNP;

or FGC19846, R-FGC19846, or R1b-FGC19846, a lower-level FGC19846 terminal SNP [40].

Y-DNA haplogroup R-M207 is believed to have arisen approximately 27,000 years ago in Asia.

The two currently defined first-level subclades are R1 and R2. R1-M173 is estimated to have

arisen during the height of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 18,500 years ago, most

likely in southwestern Asia. The two most common descendant clades of R1 are R1a and R1b.

R1a-M420 is believed to have arisen on the Eurasian Steppe or the Indus Valley, and today is

most frequently observed in eastern Europe and in western and central Asia [17].

R1b-M343 is believed to have arisen in southwest Asia and today its subclades (e.g. R1b-M269,

> R1b-P312, and > R1b-M222) are found in various distributions across Eurasia and Africa.

R1b1a2-M269 is estimated to have arisen approximately 4,000 to 8,000 years ago in southwest

Asia and to have spread into Europe from there. The Atlantic Modal Haplotype, or AMH, is the

most common STR haplotype in R1b1a2a1a-L11/PF6539/S127 and most European R1b1a2 is

part of R1b1a2a1a1-M405/S21/U106 or R1b1a2a1a2-P312/PF6547/S116 (> R1b-M222) [17].

Haplogroup R1b-M222 subclade within R1b-L21 is defined by the presence of the M222 SNP.

It is particularly associated with male lines which are Irish or Scottish, especially northern Irish.

This specific subclade has been linked to the Uí Néill dynastic kindred of ancient Ireland, with

the closely related Connachta dynasties, the Uí Briúin and Uí Fiachrach, and with Scotland [41].

SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) confirm the Y haplogroup by determining if a SNP

has mutated from its derived or ancestral state. SNPs are usually found on different areas of the

Y-chromosome than where the Y-STR markers are located [14]. When a scientist discovers a

new SNP, they can name the new SNP with their specific prefix and their sequential number [42]

(so, L21 is the 21st ‘L’ SNP, M222 is Peter Underhill / Stanford’s 222th ‘M’, and FGC19851 >

FGC19846 > FGC19844 are 3 recent SNPs discovered by FGC (Full Genomes Corporation)).

Information about most known SNPs can be found on the isogg tree [17], on the big tree [43],

at SNPedia [44], at YSEQ [45], and at isogg’s YBroswe [46] (confusing, with too much detail).

And studies of the mutation rates for Y-DNA SNPs are at the leading edge of current genetic

science, with various estimates of 137, 144, 150, and 160 years per mutation [47] [48] [49] [50].


McAninch Y-DNA Status Report 2016: 6 of 8: Haplogroup R, SNPs, Sub-clades, R1b-M222

McAninch Family History NL v.XXIV n.1 / April 2016 / Copyright Frank McAninch / pg.2016-07

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