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Title: The genetic legacy of Zoroastrianism in Iran and India: Insights into population structure, gene flow and selection.
Author: Lopez, Saioa
Thomas, Mark G
van Dorp, Lucy
Ansari-Pour, Naser
Stewart, Sarah
Jones, Abigail L
Jelinek, Erik
Chikhi, Lounes
Parfitt, Tudor
Bradman, Neil
Weale, Michael E
Hellenthal, Garrett
Keywords: population genetics
genetic structure
recent isolation
Issue Date: Aug-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Saioa López, Mark G. Thomas, Lucy van Dorp, Naser Ansari-Pour, Sarah Stewart, Abigail L. Jones, Erik Jelinek, Lounès Chikhi, Tudor Parfitt, Neil Bradman, Michael E. Weale, Garrett Hellenthal, The Genetic Legacy of Zoroastrianism in Iran and India: Insights into Population Structure, Gene Flow, and Selection, The American Journal of Human Genetics, Available online 24 August 2017, ISSN 0002-9297, (
Abstract: Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest extant religions in the world, originating in Persia (present-day Iran) during the second millennium BCE. Historical records indicate that migrants from Persia brought Zoroastrianism to India, but there is debate over the timing of these migrations. Here we present genome-wide autosomal, Y chromosome, and mitochondrial DNA data from Iranian and Indian Zoroastrians and neighboring modern-day Indian and Iranian populations and conduct a comprehensive genome-wide genetic analysis in these groups. Using powerful haplotype-based techniques, we find that Zoroastrians in Iran and India have increased genetic homogeneity relative to other sampled groups in their respective countries, consistent with their current practices of endogamy. Despite this, we infer that Indian Zoroastrians (Parsis) intermixed with local groups sometime after their arrival in India, dating this mixture to 690–1390 CE and providing strong evidence that Iranian Zoroastrian ancestry was maintained primarily through the male line. By making use of the rich information in DNA from ancient human remains, we also highlight admixture in the ancestors of Iranian Zoroastrians dated to 570 BCE–746 CE, older than admixture seen in any other sampled Iranian group, consistent with a long-standing isolation of Zoroastrians from outside groups. Finally, we report results, and challenges, from a genome-wide scan to identify genomic regions showing signatures of positive selection in present-day Zoroastrians that might correlate to the prevalence of particular diseases among these communities.
Description: The deposited article version is a "Pre-print version" provided by Biorxiv posted online on April 18, 2017 - 12:26, and it contains attached the supplementary materials within the pdf.
Peer review: no
DOI: 10.1101/128272
Publisher Version:
Appears in Collections:PCG - Artigos

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