Y-Chromosome Variation Among Sudanese: 
Restricted Gene Flow, Concordance With Language, Geography and History

Hassan et al. 2004

Abstract

We study the major levels of Y-chromosome haplogroup variation in 15 Sudanese populations by typing major Y-haplogroups in 445 unrelated males representing the three linguistic families in Sudan. Our analysis shows Sudanese populations fall into haplogroups A, B, E, F, I, J, K, and R in frequencies of 16.9, 7.9, 34.4, 3.1, 1.3, 22.5, 0.9, and 13% respectively. Haplogroups A, B, and E occur mainly in Nilo-Saharan speaking groups including Nilotics, Fur, Borgu, and Masalit; whereas haplogroups F, I, J, K, and R are more frequent among Afro-Asiatic speaking groups including Arabs, Beja, Copts, and Hausa, and Niger-Congo speakers from the Fulani ethnic group. Mantel tests reveal a strong correlation between genetic and linguistic structures (r 5 0.31, P 5 0.007), and a similar correlation between genetic and geographic distances (r 5 0.29, P 5 0.025) that appears after removing nomadic pastoralists of no known geographic locality from the analysis. The bulk of genetic diversity appears to be a consequence of recent migrations and demographic events mainly from Asia and Europe, evident in a higher migration rate for speakers of Afro-Asiatic as compared with the Nilo- Saharan family of languages, and a generally higher effective population size for the former. The data provide insights not only into the history of the Nile Valley, but also in part to the history of Africa and the area of the Sahel

                 

Population   N

A (M91) 

B (M60) 

 E(M96) 

E1b1b(M35)

F(M89)

J(M267) 

J(M172) R1(M173)

R1(P25)

Dinka 26

0.62 

0.23

-

0.15

- -

Shilluk

15 

0.53

0.27

-

0.20

-

-

 -

 -

-

Nuer

12

0.33

0.50

-

0.12 

-

-

-

-

Nuba

28

0.46 

0.14

0.40 

-

-

-

-

-

Borgu 

26

0.35

-

0.53 

-

-

0.12 

Massalit

32 

0.19

0.03

0.72 

0.06 

-

-

Fur 

32 

0.31

0.03 

0.59 

0.06

Nubians

39 

-

0.08

0.23 

0.15

0.41 

0.03

0.10 

Fulani

26

-

0.12 

0.34

-

-

0.54

Hausa

32 

0.12 

0.16 

0.28 

0.03 

0.41 

Copts 

33 

0.15 

0.22 

0.03

0.39 

0.06

0.15 

Beja 

42 

0.05 

0.52 

0.36 

0.02 

0.05 

Gaalien 

50 

0.06 

0.18 

0.20

0.36 

0.04 

0.02 

0.14 

Meseria 

28 

0.14 

0.18 

0.43 

0.25 

Arakien 

24 

0.17 

0.08 

0.67