A preliminary study on the origin of Koreans based on Y-STR variation

Soon Hee Kim, Byung Won Chun, Jongwoo Jung, Brian M. Kemp, Kyoung Don Kwak, Nam Soo Cho, Jong Jin Kim, Myun Soo Han, Won Kim

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4 Scopus citations


To investigate the origin of Koreans, we examined the 12-locus Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) variation in a sample of 310 unrelated males from three localities (Gochang, Andong and Geoje) in Korea and statistically analyzed the previously published four Y-STR databases (n = 1655) of Korean population. The median joining network of 9-locus Y-STR haplotypes inferred as haplogroup O2b-SRY+465 showed a "star cluster" indicative of a population expansion from a centrally positioned haplotype. The central haplotype in the "star cluster" was the most frequently occurring Y-STR haplotype among the Korean male gene pool (6%, 127 of 1965, 10,14,12,13,14,16,13,13,23, for loci DYS391, DYS389I, DYS439, DYS438, DYS437, DYS19, DYS392, DYS393, and DYS390), which was shared among all seven datasets. Based on the "star cluster" pattern from both our data (41%, 128 of 310) and those previously published (34%, 563 of 1655), we suggest that the most frequent Y-STR haplotype among the Korean male gene pool seems to be the Korean modal (ancestral) haplotype. Further study with additional Y-STR and Y-SNP data of the east Asian populations as well as Korean population are needed to providing a genetic clue for the "star cluster" (O2b-SRY +465) associated with the ethnohistoric events of the Koreans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalGenes and Genomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Korean population
  • Modal (ancestral) haplotype
  • Origin of Koreans
  • Star cluster
  • Y-STRs


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