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Am J Hum Genet. 2006 Mar;78(3):487-97. Epub 2006 Jan 11.

The matrilineal ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: portrait of a recent founder event.

Author information

  • 1Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute, Technion and Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.

Abstract

Both the extent and location of the maternal ancestral deme from which the Ashkenazi Jewry arose remain obscure. Here, using complete sequences of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), we show that close to one-half of Ashkenazi Jews, estimated at 8,000,000 people, can be traced back to only 4 women carrying distinct mtDNAs that are virtually absent in other populations, with the important exception of low frequencies among non-Ashkenazi Jews. We conclude that four founding mtDNAs, likely of Near Eastern ancestry, underwent major expansion(s) in Europe within the past millennium.

PMID:
16404693
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1380291
Free PMC Article

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