Haplogroup J2* was observed 77 times. Its frequency was higher in the Shia (19.5%) and Sunni (15.4%) sample set than in the other three upper caste populations (6.3% in Bhargavas, 12.5% in Chaturvedis, and 11.9% in Brahmins).
Kivisild et al. (2003) also Figure 3. Migratory routes of paternal lineages of Indian upper caste and Muslim populations. reported the presence of a J2 clade and postulated that the origin of the J2 clade in India was probably Central Asia. Their hypothesis is based on eight populations taken from different parts of India. They observed the J2 clade in ~13% of the sample. The major Middle Eastern lineage present in our study was J2* with an average frequency of 13.8% and its frequency among Shias was the highest (19.5%). We suggest that the J2* lineage of the studied populations might be derived from the Middle East.We suggest that the J2* lineage of the studied populations might be derived from the Middle East. This might have been due to two different episodes of migrations, one concomitant with the development and spread of agriculture ~8000-10 000 years ago (Renfrew 1989; Cavalli-Sforza 2005), and the other more recent migration being the arrival of Muslim rulers 1000 years ago.
I think there are two reasons why J2 may have arrived in Indian caste populations from Central Asia, probably with R1a1:
- Hindu J2 generally lacks any downstream mutations (e.g., M67) which are frequent in Middle East; this argues against its recent introduction, associated with the Muslims. Moreover, if the Hindu population had undergone recent admixture, then other Middle Eastern haplogroups (J1, E1b1b1, G, R1b) would be found in them at more than zero or trace frequency. So, it seems that J2 is not the result of recent admixture.
- On the other hand, if J2, and especially J2a had been introduced by Neolithic agriculturalists in India during the Neolithic, then we would not expect that it be correlated with social caste today.
With respect to R2, I would not place its origin far from India, although it's not clear where exactly it originated.
As I wrote in the Origin of Hindu Brahmins:
The three most populous haplogroups (R1a1, R2, J2a) are the best candidates for lineages of exogenous origin, and have Bronze Age coalescence time, in accordance with the traditional theory. However, indigenous lineages (H1 and L1) and others with fewer numbers did enter into the Brahmin gene pool. The majority (64%) does appear to trace its ancestry to the early Indo-Aryans.In this study, the combined frequency of these haplogroups (including J2 rather than J2a, since no downstream markers were typed) are in these upper-caste groups: 61.5% in Bhargavas, 68.2% in Chaturvedis, and 60.2% in Brahmins.
- Origin of Hindu Brahmins
- Shared Y-chromosome heritage of Hindus and Muslims in India
- Y-chromosomes of Eastern India
- Sahoo et al. (2006) online (Indian Y chromosome variation)
- New paper on Indian Y-chromosome variation
- More on R1a1 age and haplogroup J2 in upper caste Hindus
- Genetic impact of the caste system in India
Annals of Human Biology doi: 10.1080/03014460802558522
Presence of three different paternal lineages among North Indians: A study of 560 Y chromosomes
Zhongming Zhao et al.
Background: The genetic structure, affinities, and diversity of the 1 billion Indians hold important keys to numerous unanswered questions regarding the evolution of human populations and the forces shaping contemporary patterns of genetic variation. Although there have been several recent studies of South Indian caste groups, North Indian caste groups, and South Indian Muslims using Y-chromosomal markers, overall, the Indian population has still not been well studied compared to other geographical populations. In particular, no genetic study has been conducted on Shias and Sunnis from North India.
Aim: This study aims to investigate genetic variation and the gene pool in North Indians.
Subjects and methods: A total of 32 Y-chromosomal markers in 560 North Indian males collected from three higher caste groups (Brahmins, Chaturvedis and Bhargavas) and two Muslims groups (Shia and Sunni) were genotyped.
Results: Three distinct lineages were revealed based upon 13 haplogroups. The first was a Central Asian lineage harbouring haplogroups R1 and R2. The second lineage was of Middle-Eastern origin represented by haplogroups J2*, Shia-specific E1b1b1, and to some extent G* and L*. The third was the indigenous Indian Y-lineage represented by haplogroups H1*, F*, C* and O*. Haplogroup E1b1b1 was observed in Shias only.
Conclusion: The results revealed that a substantial part of today's North Indian paternal gene pool was contributed by Central Asian lineages who are Indo-European speakers, suggesting that extant Indian caste groups are primarily the descendants of Indo-European migrants. The presence of haplogroup E in Shias, first reported in this study, suggests a genetic distinction between the two Indo Muslim sects. The findings of the present study provide insights into prehistoric and early historic patterns of migration into India and the evolution of Indian populations in recent history.