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Ann Hum Genet. 2008 Mar;72(Pt 2):241-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2007.00413.x. Epub 2008 Jan 20.

Close genetic relationship between Semitic-speaking and Indo-European-speaking groups in Iran.

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Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Deutscher Platz 6, Leipzig, Germany.


As part of a continuing investigation of the extent to which the genetic and linguistic relationships of populations are correlated, we analyzed mtDNA HV1 sequences, eleven Y chromosome bi-allelic markers, and 9 Y-STR loci in two neighboring groups from the southwest of Iran who speak languages belonging to different families: Indo-European-speaking Bakhtiari, and Semitic-speaking Arabs. Both mtDNA and the Y chromosome, showed a close relatedness of these groups with each other and with neighboring geographic groups, irrespective of the language spoken. Moreover, Semitic-speaking North African groups are more distant genetically from Semitic-speaking groups from the Near East and Iran. Thus, geographical proximity better explains genetic relatedness between populations than does linguistic relatedness in this part of the world.

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