March 21, 2005

mtDNA and Y chromosomes of Kurdish groups

An interesting new paper on the genetics of the Kurds. Especially interesting is the discovery at a high frequency (up to 44%) of Y chromosome haplogroup P1, which has not been seen before AFAIK to such an extent. The authors hypothesize that P1 existed in a population that was ancestral to the Kurds.

Annals of Human Genetics (Early view)

MtDNA and Y-chromosome Variation in Kurdish Groups

Ivan Nasidze et al.


In order to investigate the origins and relationships of Kurdish-speaking groups, mtDNA HV1 sequences, eleven Y chromosome bi-allelic markers, and 9 Y-STR loci were analyzed among three Kurdish groups: Zazaki and Kurmanji speakers from Turkey, and Kurmanji speakers from Georgia. When compared with published data from other Kurdish groups and from European, Caucasian, and West and Central Asian groups, Kurdish groups are most similar genetically to other West Asian groups, and most distant from Central Asian groups, for both mtDNA and the Y-chromosome. However, Kurdish groups show a closer relationship with European groups than with Caucasian groups based on mtDNA, but the opposite based on the Y-chromosome, indicating some differences in their maternal and paternal histories. The genetic data indicate that the Georgian Kurdish group experienced a bottleneck effect during their migration to the Caucasus, and that they have not had detectable admixture with their geographic neighbours in Georgia. Our results also do not support the hypothesis of the origin of the Zazaki -speaking group being in northern Iran; genetically they are more similar to other Kurdish groups. Genetic analyses of recent events, such as the origins and migrations of Kurdish-speaking groups, can therefore lead to new insights into such migrations.



Corduene said...

Haplogroup P1 Is found in this high per cent only among Kurds from georgia who used to immigrate from Iraq 100 years ago. their number is not higher than 100 thousand. it seems like coincidence that The tribes which used to move from Iraq in small numbers had P1 and than breed and increased the number of this Haplogroup without mixing with the locals due to their Religion (almost all Kurds from Gerogia are Yezidis)

Corduene said...

Another interesting thing is that P1 was anyway found among Kurds Ossetians and as well Chechens. This shows us that Haplogroup R2(P1) might originated in Caucasus-Westasia and than moved to India.