Friday, February 8, 2013

Sudan YDNA

This is from a relatively old study, but it seems that it is the most comprehensive YDNA breakdown we have of North and South Sudan to date.

Y-chromosome variation among Sudanese: restricted gene flow, concordance with language, geography, and history. Hassan (2008)

Here is a map of the populations tested from Fig.1 of the Study
Populations Studied

Here below is the phylogeny (as known back in 2008) of the SNPs tested, note that those in bold; E-M75, E-P2, G-M201 and T-M70 were NOT tested in the study.

SNPs tested (except those in bold)
The E-M78+ cases from above were also tested for Cruciani's V-Series SNPs as well for further resolution,

Cruciani's V-Series SNPs (2007)

Some notes:

  • The high level (38%) of E-M215 (x M78) in the Borgu is quite intriguing, I wonder what variant/s of E-M215 it is?
  • Almost all the J-12f2(x M172) should be J-M267.
  • B-M60 is found in Southern Nilo-Saharan speakers and not the North Western ones, while A-M13 is found in both.
  • The F-M89(x M52,M170,I2f2, M9) found in the north is also interesting, although it could possibly be G-M201, at least part of it.
  • E-V22 has a relatively high presence in these samples, even when compared to the Egyptian samples from Cruciani '07, and most certainly higher than its presence in Ethiopia.
  • The High presence of E-V12 (x V32) is also concordant with its putative area of origin, all the E-M78 found in the Nuer and the Copts is of this variety.
  • The presence of E-M78* in the Masalit and the Nuba is notable.
  • Off course the strangest result is the 54% R-M173 (x P25) in the Fulani, this could be some R1b*(R-M343), or some type of R1a, the latter would be very out of place for the region, while the former could be reconciled with the presence of more downstream R1b variants in Africa. 


  1. What's the linguistic affiliation of the Borgu? I could not find anything in Wikipedia (only references to the old kingdom of the same name in Nigeria). If they are Nilo-Saharan (or otherwise not AA), as I imagine, then most of the E1b1b1(xE-M78) is concentrated in non-AA peoples (only some in the Beja and even less among Copts). This rather supports my model of AA expansion including essentially E-M78 cum J1 (and in the Chadic case R1b-V88). It think that there is not a North Sudanese Nilotic people without their dose of E1b1b1(xE-M78), while in the case of AA peoples this is the exception and not the rule at all - at least in North Sudan.

    South Sudan seems to be a different case but the whole genetic constitution of both regions seems rather different overall. Still the Shilluk at least reflect the North Sudan Nilotics in this aspect of E1b1b1-M215(xE-M78).

    Still you mention that "E-M78* in the Masalit and the Nuba is notable" but in fact E-M78 is widespread among every single population of the area (the only imperfect exception being the Hausa). Sure that these two are particularly outstriking. So maybe the AA expansion has to be associated to some further phylogenetic sublevel(s) within E-M78, rather than the whole clade, I'm intrigued because not many people has payed such a detailed attention to E1b1b in Africa as you are doing.

    Also the slightly 'crazy' must-be-done question: could early Neolithic Europeans (who were high in E1b-V13, a subclade of E-M78) speak Nilo-Saharan?

    "F-M89(x M52,M170,I2f2, M9) found in the north"

    From maps I have seen around it might well be T (former K2), somewhat common in both Egypt and the Horn.

    "the strangest result is the 54% R-M173 (x P25) in the Fulani, this could be some R1b*(R-M343), or some type of R1a"

    It could be anything, even R1(xR1a,R1b). It is rare but occasionally found especially in West Asia and the Sudanese Fulani seem to very original not just for Sudan but also for the Fulani elsewhere and subject to some strange founder effect. Whatever the case, remember that these are Fulani, who should have arrived from further West in recent times, just like the Hausa.

    In any case, this post is a very valuable document, especially for people like me without access to the original paper. Thanks.

    1. “What's the linguistic affiliation of the Borgu? “

      They are Nilo-Saharan, they are also known as 'Maba', Ethnologue lists them only in Chad however, although they also exist in Sudan.

      “From maps I have seen around it might well be T (former K2), somewhat common in both Egypt and the Horn. “

      But T is a sub-lineage of K-M9, what this is showing is something that does not include M9. As far as I can tell it can only be either some-type of G, H (x H1), IJK (x I,J,K) (never been found before) or genuine F*.

      “It could be anything, even R1(xR1a,R1b)”

      Yes, it could be R1*, I didn't think about that, so it could be R1*,R1b* or R1a, any of those at such a high level still seems very strange to me.

      “especially for people like me without access to the original paper”

      Check your email, I have sent it you so you can add it to your library.

    2. Probably G, there is some F-other floating around but tends to be concentrated in South Asia, some in SE Asia too. G could be a Mamluk legacy (or not: just any other West Asian influence).

      "Check your email, I have sent it you so you can add it to your library".

      Just saw it, thanks. :)

  2. R1* or R1b* would seem far more likely than R1a* IMHO.

    The Fulani of Chad are pretty atypical genetically of Niger-Congo speakers (e.g. having high levels of Y-DNA hg T), so some oddness in an adjacent Sudanese Fulani population is so terribly surprising. R1b-V88 which is quite basal within R1b and might have even more basal subhaplogroups at lower frequencies in its population (that could via founder effects become the basis of a particular tribe) are common in Chadic linguistic populations like the Hasua, so one possibility worth considering is an ethnically Chadic population experiencing language shift to Fulani at some historical point in this region.