Montag, 26. März 2007

Ashkenazi Jewish subgroups and founder events

Ashkenazi Jews "constitute a model population for the search of disease-causing mutations and disease-susceptibility genes".

A new genetic study about Ashkenazi Jews (1) confirms
"the interpretation of little or no gene flow of the local non-Jewish communities in Poland and Russia to the Jewish communities in these countries" over the last 1000 years. "The differences between Jews and non-Jews are far larger than those observed among the Jewish communities." So, the study says, Ashkenazi Jews are "an isolated population that has undergone a recent bottleneck".

But its main result is, that researchers claim to have found a difference in haplogroup frequencies (mostly of mitochondrial haplogroups K and H) between Ashkenazi Jews from Russia and Ashkenazi Jews from Poland and Romania.

And because the differences are not caused by non-jewish genetical influence it is most likely that they reflect founder events, researchers say. So they claim the results are "consistent with the view that the ancestry of the Ashkenazi Jewish population is a result of at least four different founder events."

  1. Feder, J., Ovadia, O., Glaser, B. et al. Ashkenazi Jewish mtDNA haplogroup distribution varies among distinct subpopulations: lessons of population substructure in a closed group. Eur J Hum Genet 15, 498–500 (2007).,

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