Genghis Khan’s lineage has attracted both academic and general interest because of its mystery and large influence. However, the truth behind the mystery is complicated and continues to confound the scientific study. In this study, we surveyed the molecular genealogy of Northwestern China’s Lu clan who claim to be the descendants of the sixth son of Genghis Khan, Toghan. We also investigated living members of the Huo and Tuo clans, who, according to oral tradition, were close male relatives of Lu clan. Using network analysis, we found that the Y-chromosomal haplotypes of Lu clan mainly belong to haplogroup C2b1a1b1-F1756, widely prevalent in Altaic-speaking populations, and are closely related to the Tore clan from Kazakhstan, who claim to be the descendants of the first son of Genghis Khan, Jochi. The most recent common ancestor of the special haplotype cluster that includes the Lu clan and Tore clan lived about 1000 years ago (YA), while the Huo and Tuo clans do not share any Y lineages with the Lu clan. In addition to the reported lineages, such as C3*-Star Cluster, R1b-M343, and Q, our results indicate that haplogroup C2b1a1b1-F1756 might be another candidate of the true Y lineage of Genghis Khan.
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We are grateful for the trust of the sample donors. This work was supported by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M640332), Scientific and Technology Committee of Shanghai Municipality (18490750300), National Natural Science Foundation of China (91731303, 81671874, 31760309, 31771325, 91631105, and 31801040), Nanqiang Outstanding Young Talents Program of Xiamen University (X2123302), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (ZK1144), MOE Research Program Foundation of Humanities and Social Sciences (18YJAZH116), Scientific Research Project for Colleges of Gansu province (2017B-34), Major Project of Gansu Institute of Political Science and Law (2017XZD10), and 111 Project (B13016).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Y chromosome SNP and STR data of Lu clan, Huo clan, and Tuo clan. The Y chromosomal SNP information and 17 Y-STRs (DYS19, DYS389I/II, DYS390,DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS437, DYS438, DYS439, DYS448, DYS456, DYS458, DYS635, Y-GATA H4, and DYS385a/b) are provided.
Y-STR haplotypes of all C2b1a1b1-F1756 included in this study.