Historic migration to South Asia in the last two millennia: A case of Jewish and Parsi populations.

J Biosci 2019 Jul;44(3)

Estonian Biocentre, Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu, Riia 23b, Tartu 51010, Estonia.

The South Asian populations have a mosaic of ancestries likely due to the interactions of long-term populations of the landmass and those of East andWest Eurasia. Apart from prehistoric dispersals, there are some known population movements to India. In this study,we focussed on the migration of Jewish and Parsi populations on temporal and spatial scales. The existence of Jewish and Parsi communities in India are recorded since ancient times. However, due to the lack of high-resolution genetic data, their origin and affiliation with other Indian and non-Indian populations remains shrouded in legends. Earlier genetic studies on populations of Indian Jews have found evidence for a minor shared ancestry of Indian Jews with Middle Eastern (Jews) populations, whereas for Parsis, the Iranian link was proposed. Recently, in our high-resolution study, we were able to quantify the admixture dynamics of these groups, which has suggested a male-biased admixture. Here, we added the newly available ancient samples and revisited the interplay of genes and cultures. Thus, in this study we reconstructed a broad genetic profile of Indian Jews and Parsis to paint a fine-grained picture of these ethnic groups.

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July 2019
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