In this study, 231 Y chromosomes from 12 populations were typed for four diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to determine haplogroup membership and 43 Y chromosomes from three of these populations were typed for eight short tandem repeats (STRs) to determine haplotypes. These data were combined with previously published data, amounting to 724 Y chromosomes from 26 populations in North America, and analyzed to investigate the geographic distribution of Y chromosomes among native North Americans and to test the Southern Athapaskan migration hypothesis. The results suggest that European admixture has significantly altered the distribution of Y chromosomes in North America and because of this caution should be taken when inferring prehistoric population events in North America using Y chromosome data alone. However, consistent with studies of other genetic systems, we are still able to identify close relationships among Y chromosomes in Athapaskans from the Subarctic and the Southwest, suggesting that a small number of proto-Apachean migrants from the Subarctic founded the Southwest Athapaskan populations.
Distribution of Y Chromosomes Among Native North Americans: A Study of Athapaskan Population Distribution