High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews
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High-resolution Y chromosome haplotype analysis was performed in 143 paternally unrelated Israeli and Palestinian Moslem Arabs (I&P Arabs) by screening for 11 binary polymorphisms and six microsatellite loci. Two frequent haplotypes were found among the 83 detected: the modal haplotype of the I&P Arabs (∼14%) was spread throughout the region, while its one-step microsatellite neighbor, the modal haplotype of the Galilee sample (∼8%), was mainly restricted to the north. Geographic substructuring within the Arabs was observed in the highlands of Samaria and Judea. Y chromosome variation in the I&P Arabs was compared to that of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, and to that of North Welsh individuals. At the haplogroup level, defined by the binary polymorphisms only, the Y chromosome distribution in Arabs and Jews was similar but not identical. At the haplotype level, determined by both binary and microsatellite markers, a more detailed pattern was observed. Single-step microsatellite networks of Arab and Jewish haplotypes revealed a common pool for a large portion of Y chromosomes, suggesting a relatively recent common ancestry. The two modal haplotypes in the I&P Arabs were closely related to the most frequent haplotype of Jews (the Cohen modal haplotype). However, the I&P Arab clade that includes the two Arab modal haplotypes (and makes up 32% of Arab chromosomes) is found at only very low frequency among Jews, reflecting divergence and/or admixture from other populations.
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