• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of ajhgLink to Publisher's site
Am J Hum Genet. May 1979; 31(3): 341–365.
PMCID: PMC1685782

Analysis of biochemical genetic data on Jewish populations: II. Results and interpretations of heterogeneity indices and distance measures with respect to standards.


A nonparametric statistical methodology is used for the analysis of biochemical frequency data observed on a series of nine Jewish and six non-Jewish populations. Two categories of statistics are used: heterogeneity indices and various distance measures with respect to a standard. The latter are more discriminating in exploiting historical, geographical and culturally relevant information. A number of partial orderings and distance relationships among the populations are determined. Our concern in this study is to analyze similarities and differences among the Jewish populations, in terms of the gene frequency distributions for a number of genetic markers. Typical questions discussed are as follows: These Jewish populations differ in certain morphological and anthropometric traits. Are there corresponding differences in biochemical genetic constitution? How can we assess the extent of heterogeneity between and within groupings? Which class of markers (blood typings or protein loci) discriminates better among the separate populations? The results are quite surprising. For example, we found the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Iraqi Jewish populations to be consistently close in genetic constitution and distant from all the other populations, namely the Yemenite and Cochin Jews, the Arabs, and the non-Jewish German and Russian populations. We found the Polish Jewish community the most heterogeneous among all Jewish populations. The blood loci discriminate better than the protein loci. A number of possible interpretations and hypotheses for these and other results are offered. The method devised for this analysis should prove useful in studying similarities and differences for other groups of populations for which substantial biochemical polymorphic data are available.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.1M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bonné-Tamir B, Karlin S, Kenett R. Analysis of genetic data on Jewish populations. I. Historical background, demographic features, and genetic markers. Am J Hum Genet. 1979 May;31(3):324–340. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Spielman RS, Smouse PE. Multivariate classification of human populations. I. Allocation of Yanomama indians to villages. Am J Hum Genet. 1976 Jul;28(4):317–331. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Smouse PE, Neel JV. Multivariate analysis of gametic disequilibrium in the Yanomama. Genetics. 1977 Apr;85(4):733–752. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Felsenstein J. Maximum-likelihood estimation of evolutionary trees from continuous characters. Am J Hum Genet. 1973 Sep;25(5):471–492. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bonné-Tamir B, Bodmer JG, Bodmer WF, Pickbourne P, Brautbar C, Gazit E, Nevo S, Zamir R. HLA polymorphism in Israel. 9. An overall comparative analysis. Tissue Antigens. 1978 Mar;11(3):235–250. [PubMed]
  • Fraikor AL. Tay-Sachs disease: genetic drift among the Ashkenazim Jews. Soc Biol. 1977 Summer;24(2):117–134. [PubMed]
  • Karlin S, McGregor J. Application of method of small parameters to multi-niche population genetic models. Theor Popul Biol. 1972 Jun;3(2):186–209. [PubMed]
  • Adam A. Genetic diseases among Jews. Isr J Med Sci. 1973 Sep-Oct;9(9):1383–1392. [PubMed]
  • SHEBA C, SZEINBERG A, RAMOT B, ADAM A, ASHKENAZI I. Epidemiologic surveys of deleterious genes in different population groups in Israel. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1962 Jul;52:1101–1106. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McKusick VA. The ethnic distribution of disease in the United States. J Chronic Dis. 1967 Mar;20(3):115–118. [PubMed]
  • Brunt PW, McKusick VA. Familial dysautonomia. A report of genetic and clinical studies, with a review of the literature. Medicine (Baltimore) 1970 Sep;49(5):343–374. [PubMed]

Articles from American Journal of Human Genetics are provided here courtesy of American Society of Human Genetics


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...