Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ugandan mtDNA

Unfortunately I can not find the detailed breakdown of the mtDNA frequencies for the populations sampled in the supplemental materials for this paper, and hence can not build my sortable frequency charts. 

Mosaic maternal ancestry in the Great Lakes region of East Africa


The Great Lakes lie within a region of East Africa with very high human genetic diversity, home of many ethno-linguistic groups usually assumed to be the product of a small number of major dispersals. However, our knowledge of these dispersals relies primarily on the inferences of historical, linguistics and oral traditions, with attempts to match up the archaeological evidence where possible. This is an obvious area to which archaeogenetics can contribute, yet Uganda, at the heart of these developments, has not been studied for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation. Here, we compare mtDNA lineages at this putative genetic crossroads across 409 representatives of the major language groups: Bantu speakers and Eastern and Western Nilotic speakers. We show that Uganda harbours one of the highest mtDNA diversities within and between linguistic groups, with the various groups significantly differentiated from each other. Despite an inferred linguistic origin in South Sudan, the data from the two Nilotic-speaking groups point to a much more complex history, involving not only possible dispersals from Sudan and the Horn but also large-scale assimilation of autochthonous lineages within East Africa and even Uganda itself. The Eastern Nilotic group also carries signals characteristic of West-Central Africa, primarily due to Bantu influence, whereas a much stronger signal in the Western Nilotic group suggests direct West-Central African ancestry. Bantu speakers share lineages with both Nilotic groups, and also harbour East African lineages not found in Western Nilotic speakers, likely due to assimilating indigenous populations since arriving in the region ~3000 years ago.



  1. Pity that is pay per view.

    Would you agree that the Western or Bantu signature seems to be L3b+L3e? L0f may also have been incorporated by Bantus in their migrations, but it should originate around Katanga/Zambia and is clearly not a Western lineage. All the rest does seem to follow a non-Bantu pattern, even somewhat surprisingly to me, all L2.

    1. check your email for the paper
      a portion of the L2a may be pre-bantu from an earlier migration from west-central Africa according to the paper. Same with L3d.

    2. Could you email it to me?

    3. Got it, as you already know, Ethio. Interesting about that L2a pre-Bantu but Western fraction. I was a bit puzzled why L2, which in general is more westerly than L3, was not present as apparent Bantu lineage.

      In any event it seems to me that Bantus penetrated from the Southwest rather than across CAR/Chad (because of L0f particularly), i.e. the Eastern Bantus are (by roots) derived from branches already on the move southwards, which had already crossed the Congo jungle barrier and not any direct move from Cameroon via the corridor north of the jungle.

  2. Off topic but, could you blog about this?

  3. I'm Back with a different question....where on earth does L2c3 fit in there are very few testing that are my haplotype so I am hearing! Thanks!

  4. It does not seem a particularly common haplogroup. At the very least it was not reported yet in the pan-African survey of Behar 2008. From my notes of that time: L2c was reported as follows:
    → L2c*: West Africa, Southern Africa, Morocco
    → L2c2: Southern Africa, Lebanon

    I've tried checking the references for L3c at PhyloTree but could not find anything specific, maybe someone with greater interest than my own...