Y-chromosomal analysis of Greek Cypriots reveals a primarily common pre-Ottoman paternal ancestry with Turkish Cypriots

Alexandros Heraclides, Evy Bashiardes, Eva Fernández-Domínguez, Stefania Bertoncini, Marios Chimonas, Vasilis Christofi, Jonathan King, Bruce Budowle, Panayiotis Manoli, Marios A. Cariolou

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Abstract

Genetics can provide invaluable information on the ancestry of the current inhabitants of Cyprus. A Y-chromosome analysis was performed to (i) determine paternal ancestry among the Greek Cypriot (GCy) community in the context of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East; and (ii) identify genetic similarities and differences between Greek Cypriots (GCy) and Turkish Cypriots (TCy). Our haplotype-based analysis has revealed that GCy and TCy patrilineages derive primarily from a single gene pool and show very close genetic affinity (low genetic differentiation) to Calabrian Italian and Lebanese patrilineages. In terms of more recent (past millennium) ancestry, as indicated by Y-haplotype sharing, GCy and TCy share much more haplotypes between them than with any surrounding population (7-8% of total haplotypes shared), while TCy also share around 3% of haplotypes with mainland Turks, and to a lesser extent with North Africans. In terms of Y-haplogroup frequencies, again GCy and TCy show very similar distributions, with the predominant haplogroups in both being J2a-M410, E-M78, and G2-P287. Overall, GCy also have a similar Yhaplogroup distribution to non-Turkic Anatolian and Southwest Caucasian populations, as well as Cretan Greeks. TCy show a slight shift towards Turkish populations, due to the presence of Eastern Eurasian (some of which of possible Ottoman origin) Y-haplogroups. Overall, the Y-chromosome analysis performed, using both Y-STR haplotype and binary Yhaplogroup data puts Cypriot in the middle of a genetic continuum stretching from the Levant to Southeast Europe and reveals that despite some differences in haplotype sharing and haplogroup structure, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots share primarily a common pre-Ottoman paternal ancestry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179474
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

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    Heraclides, A., Bashiardes, E., Fernández-Domínguez, E., Bertoncini, S., Chimonas, M., Christofi, V., King, J., Budowle, B., Manoli, P., & Cariolou, M. A. (2017). Y-chromosomal analysis of Greek Cypriots reveals a primarily common pre-Ottoman paternal ancestry with Turkish Cypriots. PLoS ONE, 12(6), [e0179474]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179474