October 10, 2009

Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan lineages in Indian Muslim populations

This is a very nice paper which gives us a look at Muslim populations from India (first six in table) compared to both Indian non-Muslims, and the populations of Iran and Arabia.

Assuming -as is likely- that J*(xJ2) is mostly J1, here are some observations:
  1. J1 far exceeds J2 in Arabia
  2. In Muslim Iran J1/J2 is much lower (about half in this sample)
  3. Indian non-Muslims have a low J1/J2 ratio (near zero)
Indian Muslim populations are very variable in this regard. The Dawoodi Bohras from Tamil Nadu show no J, suggesting non-Western Asian origins, whereas their correligionists from Gujarat are seemingly a zero J1/J2 population. To quote Wikipedia:
Some Bohras' ancestors were converts from Hinduism to Islam in Gujarat, India. Their conversion was the result of the work of Fatimid missionaries from Egypt and Yemen before the seclusion of the 21st Fatimid Imām, some time during the reign of Caliph-Imām al-Mustansir. The converted were largely from the higher castes, many of whom were engaged in trade and commerce.
A zero J1/J2 ratio with a sizeable J2 presence is indeed reminiscent of Indian upper-caste populations.

Indian Shia/Sunni populations from Uttar Pradesh have a sizeable J1 presence which, given its absence in Indian non-Muslims is likely of exogenous Middle Eastern origin.

The absence of J1 in Iranian Shia from Andhra Pradesh is interesting. I have not been able to find more information on this population, but presumably they originate from an Iranian group that settled in India prior to experiencing admixture and hence does not exhibit the mixed J1/J2 ratio as in the current general Iranian population.

The Mappla from South India show a balanced J1/J2 ratio. From Wikipedia:
The long-standing Arab and Jewish contact with the coastal areas of India has left its permanent mark in the form of several communities. These communities came into existence through the marriage of local women to Arab sailors (The Muslim Mappilas) and traders and conversion of early Jews to Christianity (Nasrani Christians).
European Journal of Human Genetics doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.168

Traces of sub-Saharan and Middle Eastern lineages in Indian Muslim populations

Muthukrishnan Eaaswarkhanth et al.

Abstract

Islam is the second most practiced religion in India, next to Hinduism. It is still unclear whether the spread of Islam in India has been only a cultural transformation or is associated with detectable levels of gene flow. To estimate the contribution of West Asian and Arabian admixture to Indian Muslims, we assessed genetic variation in mtDNA, Y-chromosomal and LCT/MCM6 markers in 472, 431 and 476 samples, respectively, representing six Muslim communities from different geographical regions of India. We found that most of the Indian Muslim populations received their major genetic input from geographically close non-Muslim populations. However, low levels of likely sub-Saharan African, Arabian and West Asian admixture were also observed among Indian Muslims in the form of L0a2a2 mtDNA and E1b1b1a and J*(xJ2) Y-chromosomal lineages. The distinction between Iranian and Arabian sources was difficult to make with mtDNA and the Y chromosome, as the estimates were highly correlated because of similar gene pool compositions in the sources. In contrast, the LCT/MCM6 locus, which shows a clear distinction between the two sources, enabled us to rule out significant gene flow from Arabia. Overall, our results support a model according to which the spread of Islam in India was predominantly cultural conversion associated with minor but still detectable levels of gene flow from outside, primarily from Iran and Central Asia, rather than directly from the Arabian Peninsula.

Link

4 comments:

Ponto said...

A rather dumb conclusion. Islam entered the sub continent via what is now Pakistan, so it is outside of India. Islam would have diffused from the west, the Pakistan end, into India. Of course this occurred long before the creation of the India we know today or Pakistan for that matter. Pakistan has more J1 than India, and it extends deeper into Pakistan. Some of this J1 is due to Middle Eastern traders using the river systems into Pakistan. The old civilisations are mostly located in Pakistan. Iran has about 12% J1, had Islam come by that route J1 should be around 1-2% of the Indian Muslim population. Instead Islam diffused from the west, the Pakistan area, without large population movements, hence a low rate of J1 in India. I have to say that J1 is older than Islam or any existing religion and probably had a presence in the Southeast Arabia sometime after the movement of Neolithic peoples out of the Fertile Crescent, these farmers would have entered Iran and Pakistan at about the same time, so probably only a small amount of the J1 in Iran or Pakistan is due to recent movements of Islamised Arabians.

Not a very good study by the Indians.

asdf said...

@Ponto. The results of the study basically make plenty of sense. Your criticism of the study and your arguments for it are premised on "Pakistan" being a historical political entity, which it isn't. Pakistan never existed before it was created by vivisecting India in 1947. Going back to the Indus valley civilization (c. 3500 BC), Hindus (some of whom later took to Jainism and Buddhism, two derivatives of Hinduism) were the denizens of the region that was marked as Pakistan at the time India was partitioned. Of course, Islam was only born in 610 AD, just 1400 years ago, but the history of the Indian subcontinent is way far older than that. Islam arrived in the Indian subcontinent through the Islamic conquests that began in earnest with Qasim conquering the Sindh region in 710 AD which then became the gateway for later Islamic incursions into India. Ghazni's conquests beginning c. 1001 AD brought Islam deep into North India, and the Mughals followed a couple of hundred years later. Many locals (Hindus and other) were converted to Islam by force as well as by socio-economic pressures that existed during those Islamic regimes. In the thousands of years prior to those invasions, there was probably some slow and steady cross-migration between the Indian subcontinent (which is pre-partition British India, and large portions of today's Afghanistan and Balochistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and some areas to the east of today's Bangladesh) and the land-connected regions of Persia and central Asia, with some resulting mixing of the genetic pools.

J2hapydna said...

Re: Islam entered the sub continent via what is now Pakistan, so it is outside of India. Islam would have diffused from the west, the Pakistan end, into India. Of course this occurred long before the creation of the India we know today or Pakistan for that matter. Pakistan has more J1 than India, and it extends deeper into Pakistan. Some of this J1 is due to Middle Eastern traders using the river systems into Pakistan. The old civilisations are mostly located in Pakistan. Iran has about 12% J1, had Islam come by that route J1 should be around 1-2% of the Indian Muslim population. Instead Islam diffused from the west, the Pakistan area, without large population movements, hence a low rate of J1 in India. I have to say that J1 is older than Islam or any existing religion and probably had a presence in the Southeast Arabia sometime after the movement of Neolithic peoples out of the Fertile Crescent, these farmers would have entered Iran and Pakistan at about the same time, so probably only a small amount of the J1 in Iran or Pakistan is due to recent movements of Islamised Arabians.


Pronto, Are you suggesting that a higher percentage of J2 pre-existed among the aboriginals in areas of Pakistan? That this population adopted Islam and moved in to India? Can we make such an assumption, without first testing the Hindu population from Punjab and Sindh? Is there any historical record of such an event? Do the Indian Muslims speak the same language as the Pakistani? Do these populations consider themselves related? What is the basis for this theory?

Secondly, according to the study, 28% of India's Shia Muslims, belonged to haplogroup J. 11% of the Indian Shia belong to haplogroup J1. Which population in Pakistan would they have descended from, in your opinion?

regards,

J2

Peroz14 said...

Does the 11% J*(xJ2)among Shia Muslims, are among those 11% are they most Syeds who claim descent from the Ali ibn Talib cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and migrated to India? I was wondering whether any people who have Syed ancestry come up as J1c3d from India or Pakistan? I was also reading a interesting article on a hypothesis of linking the Cohen Modal Haplotype with if ever found a Ahlul-Bayt Modal Haplotype, as both Cohanim and Syeds trace all their ancestry up to Abraham from his sons Ismael and Isaac Sadly, I have not still heard of any research done on this topic. I hope more research could be done on this. 11% Shia Muslims coming up likely as J1 is quite interesting. And also heres the article: http://www.journalacademica.org/Vol2_2JA2012/Daghbouche_68-70(2)2.pdf