, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 435-440

The differences among Jewish communities—Maternal and paternal contributions

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The haplotypes of Y chromosome (paternally inherited) and mtDNA (maternally inherited) were analyzed in representatives of six Jewish communities (Ashkenazic, North African, Near Eastern, Yemenite, Minor Asian/Balkanian, and Ethiopian). For both elements, the Ethiopian community has a mixture of typically African and typically Caucasian haplotypes and is significantly different from all others. The other communities, whose haplotypes are mostly Caucasian, are more closely related; significant differences that were found among some of them possibly indicate the effects of admixture with neighboring communities of non-Jews. The different contribution of the Y chromosome and mtDNA haplotypes to the significant differences among the communities can be explained by unequal involvement of males and females in the different admixtures. In all communities, except the Ethiopians, the level of diversity (ĥ) for Y chromosome haplotypes is higher than that for mtDNA haplotypes, suggesting that in each community the people who become parents include more males than females. An opposite proportion (more females than males) is found among the Ethiopians.

Correspondence to: U. Ritte