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Eur J Hum Genet. 2005 Mar;13(3):388-91.

Y chromosome evidence for a founder effect in Ashkenazi Jews.

Author information

  • 1MRC/NHLS/Wits Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research Unit, Division of Human Genetics, School of Pathology, National Health Laboratory Service and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abstract

Recent genetic studies, based on Y chromosome polymorphic markers, showed that Ashkenazi Jews are more closely related to other Jewish and Middle Eastern groups than to their host populations in Europe. However, Ashkenazim have an elevated frequency of R-M17, the dominant Y chromosome haplogroup in Eastern Europeans, suggesting possible gene flow. In the present study of 495 Y chromosomes of Ashkenazim, 57 (11.5%) were found to belong to R-M17. Detailed analyses of haplotype structure, diversity and geographic distribution suggest a founder effect for this haplogroup, introduced at an early stage into the evolving Ashkenazi community in Europe. R-M17 chromosomes in Ashkenazim may represent vestiges of the mysterious Khazars.

PMID:
15523495
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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