Geographical Structure of the Y-chromosomal Genetic Landscape of the Levant: A coastal-inland contrast


*Corresponding author: Dr. Pierre Zalloua, The Lebanese American University, Chouran, Beirut 1102 2801, Lebanon. Tel: +961-1-784408 Ext. 2855; Fax: +961-9-546090; E-mail:


We have examined the male-specific phylogeography of the Levant and its surroundings by analyzing Y-chromosomal haplogroup distributions using 5874 samples (885 new) from 23 countries. The diversity within some of these haplogroups was also examined. The Levantine populations showed clustering in SNP and STR analyses when considered against a broad Middle-East and North African background. However, we also found a coastal-inland, east-west pattern of diversity and frequency distribution in several haplogroups within the small region of the Levant. Since estimates of effective population size are similar in the two regions, this strong pattern is likely to have arisen mainly from differential migrations, with different lineages introduced from the east and west.