Administrator/Researcher: Angela J. Cone

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J2b-Beta cluster (J M205+)

Entries in the Cluster analysis page relevant to J2b-Beta cluster: Feb 2007 Dec 2007

J2b-Beta cluster appears to be synonomous with haplogroup J2b1 (J M205+). The incidence of this clade in individual countries or Europe as a whole is unknown, since none of the academic studies have as yet included M205 in their testing of results.
This clade is one which comprises approximately 10% of individuals in the J2 project that are J2b (J M12/M102+). All information that the J2 project knows about M205 is derived from the results within the project, - from the members who have tested positive for M205+ (and also the untested members whose STR profiles place them within J2b-Beta cluster- and so are therefore predicted to be M205+).

In 2007, the J2 Y-DNA project assumed that the highest percentage of J M205+ in Europe was probably in the Balkans. This was based on the assumption that most (if not all) M12/M102+ haplotypes that are M241- are probably M205+ (following from the erroneous assumption that J2b* haplotypes are non-existant or negligible in frequency). In the literature, the highest percentage of J2b M241- haplotypes is in Serbians (4.4%).
The original comments in the cluster analysis page can be seen here:
However, following testing of M241 by FTDNA, The J2 Y-DNA project has now discovered that the frequency of J2b* (J M12/102+ M205- M241+) is neither non-existant, nor negligible, - so we now know that we cannot assume that all J2b M241- haplotypes are M205+.
Therefore, we cannot make any reliable inferances about the frequency of M205 in different countries based on existing population studies that have measured M12/M102 and M241 but not M205. This effectively means that there is no solid data about the frequency or distribution of J M205 in the published literature, - and all the solid information we have for this clade is currently from the haplotypes in the J2 Y-DNA project.

Questions asked by the project:

A. Is it possible to deduce from the project data where this clade might have originated?
B. Can we still hypothesize that J M205 originated in the Balkans?

1. What do the geographical origins of members tell us?

At this time (September 2008) the J2 Y-DNA project is aware of 12 J2b-Beta cluster haplotypes. Most (but not all) of these are members of the J2 Y-DNA project. The paternal line origins of these individuals who belong to J2b-Beta cluster range from Syria to England. There are three members that have paternal line origins in Greece, two from England, one from France, one from Mexico, one from Serbia, one from Germany, and one from the Ukraine.

Distribution map (from project data in 2007 - copied from here)

Given that most people who DNA test have paternal line origins from Western Europe (see table at bottom of the page), and relatively few with paternal line origins from the Balkans have DNA tested, it may be significant that four of these 12 known individuals have origins from the Balkans.

2. What do project members haplotypes tell us?

The diversity of haplotypes should be greatest in the area in which a clade originated. If J M205 originated in the Balkans, its haplotypes should be more diverse compared to (for example) England.
What we can do is make a cluster diagram, and indicate the origin of each haplotype in the diagram. We then look to see whether (for instance) all the haplotypes from the Balkans cluster closely together, or whether they are far apart. If they all cluster together then this wouldn't support the hypothesis that J M205 originated in the Balkans.

A cluster diagram of all known J2b-Beta cluster haplotypes that have 37 markers can be seen below:


In the diagram above, two of the haplotypes from Greece cluster closely together (meaning that their mutual common ancestor is more recent than common ancestors with any of the other J M205 haplotypes). However, they do not cluster closely with either of the other two haplotypes from the Balkans.

This diagram does suggest that the haplotypes from the Balkans are fairly diverse, which is supportive of the hypothesis that J2b1 (J M205+) might have its origins in the Balkans (but many more J M205 haplotypes would be needed to confirm the hypothesis as fact).

Testing database bias.

The table below shows the relative frequencies of people who have DNA tested (from FTDNA RAO database. Data may be incomplete).

Country 12 Markers 25 markers 37 markers
Greece 501 109 (21%) 85 (17%)
Bulgaria 76    
Albania 18    
Croatia 147    
Serbia 46    
Slovenia 92    
Romania 365    
England 16030 11134 (69%) 8082 (50%)
Ireland 8979 5607 (62%) 4443 (49%)
United Kingdom 7358 3832 (52%) 2879 (39%)
Scotland 7213 5068 (70%) 3977 (55%)
Wales 1308 811 (62%) 611 (47%)
26452 (65%)
Germany 7765 3386 (44%)  
France 2185 865 (40%)  
Spain 2119 692 (32%)  
Netherlands 1074 406 (38%)  
Denmark 559    
Switzerland 1116 598 (54%)  
Poland 2356 873 (37%)  
Italy 2290 587 (26%) 474 (21%)
Ukraine 980    
Slovakia 349    
Czech Republic 358    
Turkey 266    
Mexico 601 135 (22%)  

As can be seen, the database is heavily skewed towards people of Western European ancestry (compared to those of Balkan ancestry). It can also be seen that those of Western European ancestry (particularly those of British ancestry) are more likely to upgrade to greater numbers of markers. Ironically, those that are most likely to upgrade are those of Scottish ancestry.


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The J2 Y-DNA project

Angela Cone - Co-administrator from mid 2006 - mid 2008
Administrator from mid 2008 - Present
Click here to read about Angela.

Costa Tsirigakis - Founder J2 Y DNA project & admin from 2006 - mid 2008