April 27, 2012

For those only reading the RSS: Magdalenian mtDNA H in Cantabria confirmed by RFLP testing

Just a short heads up mostly for RSS-only readers to an important update/edit of one of today's entries:

... on Hervella et al., 2012 (oa).

The key element of novelty is that the authors themselves have confirmed to me by email that they did test for RFLP markers, specifically Alu I in the case of mtDNA H. 

Therefore, against all rumors and confusion, we finally have unmistakable confirmation of the presence of mtDNA H (and H6) in Magdalenian Europe, specifically in Cantabria. It is not any Neolithic arrival to Europe and the studies (not peer-reviewed) of Chandler 2005 and Kéfif 2005, both reporting high mtDNA H in pre-Neolithic Portugal and Morocco can now be seen with a bit more credibility, with less systematic doubts.

For more details read the edited section in the relevant entry.  

Thanks again to the authors for the quick clarification.


  1. I will continue to disbelieve until all is published, every nucleotide in the mitochondrion necessary for haplogroup and subclade assignment according to the Copernican method. Until that is done it doesn't matter whether Jesus, Muhammad or Elvis Presley agree that the haplogroup is H.

    I am mtDNA haplogroup V based on the presence of the necessary criteria for that haplogroup assignment not Alu or RFLPs.

    1. "Copernican method" was not found in Wikipedia. What do you mean?

      The Alu marker was generally accepted when it came to discard that the Gravettian remains from Paglicci were not H but R0(xH), possibly HV. I understand that exactly the same criteria should be applied here (but having the opposite meaning).

      I have no idea why this team used the RFLP method instead of more modern (and I believe cheaper) ones but they are not the first ones to do so and it's much better than just testing HVS-I as so many have done unsatisfactorily.

    2. I believe he is referring to the latest paper by Behar et al(2012)


      Which bases all existing mt-DNA off a Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence. Nonetheless the coupling of using HVR-I, HVR-II and RFPLs is more than sufficient to determine haplogroups. Ponto will continue to disbelieve anything that doesn't fit his biased notions of haplogroups. So there really isn't anything(other than ignore him) to be done here.

    3. "I believe he is referring to the latest paper by Behar et al(2012)"...

      By "Copernican" then they mean just displacing the reference point from the rCRS (= "Earth" in the metaphor) to the RSRS (= "the Sun"), what is indeed a great idea. But it's not that important: Saturn is still Saturn regardless of the reference point, and so is H.

      There's no "Copernican method" but just a suggestion of format: instead of referring the transitions to the rCRS, they ask to refer now to the RSRS, which we know with certainty now. It does not change anything in substance.


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