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Letter
Nature Genetics  36, 1122 - 1125 (2004)
Published online: 19 September 2004; | doi:10.1038/ng1428


There is an Erratum (November 2004) associated with this Letter.

Global patterns of human mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome structure are not influenced by higher migration rates of females versus males

Jason A Wilder1, 2, Sarah B Kingan1, Zahra Mobasher1, Maya Metni Pilkington3 & Michael F Hammer1, 2

1  Division of Biotechnology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.

2  Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.

3  Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.

Correspondence should be addressed to Michael F Hammer mfh@u.arizona.edu
Global-scale patterns of human population structure may be influenced by the rate of migration among populations that is nearly eight times higher for females than for males. This difference is attributed mainly to the widespread practice of patrilocality, in which women move into their mates' residences after marriage1. Here we directly test this hypothesis by comparing global patterns of DNA sequence variation on the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the same panel of 389 individuals from ten populations (four from Africa and two each from Europe, Asia and Oceania). We introduce a new strategy to assay Y-chromosome variation that identifies a high density of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, allows complete sequencing of all individuals rather than relying on predetermined markers and provides direct sequence comparisons with mtDNA. We found the overall proportion of between-group variation (PhiST) to be 0.334 for the Y chromosome and 0.382 for mtDNA. Genetic differentiation between populations was similar for the Y chromosome and mtDNA at all geographic scales that we tested. Although patrilocality may be important at the local scale2, 3, patterns of genetic structure on the continental and global scales are not shaped by the higher rate of migration among females than among males.


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Nature Genetics
ISSN: 1061-4036
EISSN: 1546-1718
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