More than 800 million men living today are descended from just eleven men, including the ruthless Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, according to new research. Geneticists have been able to find eleven distinctive sequences in Y-chromosomes – the chunk of DNA that is only carried by men – that are persistent in modern populations in Asia.
By systematically analysing the DNA of more than 5,000 men, they have been able to trace these male lineages to their approximate ‘founding fathers’.
They found that along with Khan, who is reputed to have sired hundreds of children as his hoards cut a swathe across much of Asia, they traced ten other lineages. These are thought to originate from the Middle East to Southeast Asia between 2100BC and 1100AD. They found that 37.8 per cent of the 5,000 men they tested belonged to one of these eleven lineages.
If this is reflected in the entire Asian population, then it could mean around 830 million men living in Asia currently owe their Y-chromosomes to one of these eleven men. Among them is a lineage that has previously been attributed to a Chinese ruler called Giocangga, who died in 1583 and whose grandson founded the Qing Dynasty that ruled China between 1644 and 1912. Giocangga is thought to have had many children with his wives and concubines and is the direct male ancestor of more than 1.5 million men.
The researchers also found that another of the lineages appears to have population clusters that are concentrated along the Silk Road trading route and date back to around 850AD. This suggests they may have their origins among the powerful rulers who dominated the steppes where the route passed – the Khitan, Tangut Xia, Juchin, Kara-Khitan and Mongol empires. The researchers suggest that Abaoji, Emperor Taizu of Liao and the Great Khan of the Khitans, who died in 926AD in the Khitan area of China, is a possible candidate for the father of this lineage.
Professor Mark Jobling, a geneticist at the University of Leicester who led the work, which is published in the European Journal of Human Genetics, said that more research was needed before they could identify the individuals.
The founding fathers who lived between 2100BC and 300BC appear to have existed in both sedentary agricultural societies and nomadic tribes, he added… see more
source: dailymail UK