November 18, 2009

Y chromosomes of NE Portuguese Jews

American Journal of Physical Anthropology doi:10.1002/ajpa.21154

Phylogeographic analysis of paternal lineages in NE Portuguese Jewish communities

Inês Nogueiro et al.

Abstract

The establishment of Jewish communities in the territory of contemporary Portugal is archaeologically documented since the 3rd century CE, but their settlement in Trás-os-Montes (NE Portugal) has not been proved before the 12th century. The Decree of Expulsion followed by the establishment of the Inquisition, both around the beginning of the 16th century, accounted for a significant exodus, as well as the establishment of crypto-Jewish communities. Previous Y chromosome studies have shown that different Jewish communities share a common origin in the Near East, although they can be quite heterogeneous as a consequence of genetic drift and different levels of admixture with their respective host populations. To characterize the genetic composition of the Portuguese Jewish communities from Trás-os-Montes, we have examined 57 unrelated Jewish males, with a high-resolution Y-chromosome typing strategy, comprising 16 STRs and 23 SNPs. A high lineage diversity was found, at both haplotype and haplogroup levels (98.74 and 82.83%, respectively), demonstrating the absence of either strong drift or founder effects. A deeper and more detailed investigation is required to clarify how these communities avoided the expected inbreeding caused by over four centuries of religious repression. Concerning haplogroup lineages, we detected some admixture with the Western European non-Jewish populations (R1b1b2-M269, 28%), along with a strong ancestral component reflecting their origin in the Middle East [J1(xJ1a-M267), 12%; J2-M172, 25%; T-M70, 16%] and in consequence Trás-os-Montes Jews were found to be more closely related with other Jewish groups, rather than with the Portuguese non-Jewish population.

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25 comments:

  1. I guess those folks huddled in Spain for 30,000+ years were too simple minded to follow coastlines into North Africa or the Near East. I'd also like to point out that R1 must have definitely begun in Spain, not W. Asia like modern genetics would support. After all, the followers of a religion must have all been sprung from a single man at some point. *sarcasm off* A simple analysis such as seeing if DYS393=12 or 13 would help answer this question. If the marker yields 12 in most cases, we can be pretty sure they came from abroad to Portugal. Unfortunately there are no haplotypes anywhere.

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  2. It isn't said. Hiberia have very few R1b1b2/L23-, L23+ (none L23+/L150-) and those few can be of Italian/Roman origin, having been 7century under the Roman Empire with many colonies from Italy (see Traianus, Adrianus, Seneca and so on). I know many Spaniards or Brazilians/Portuguese who are DYS393=12 and DYS461=11 but are R-S116/P312+, having had a double back mutation.
    And it isn't said that who is J1, J2 or K is from Middle East. I think that in the pretty totality of the cases also this isn't true.

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  3. "to clarify how these communities avoided the expected inbreeding caused by over four centuries of religious repression".

    They answer their own question, 'Concerning haplogroup lineages, we detected some admixture with the Western European non-Jewish populations (R1b1b2-M269, 28%)'. Twenty-eight percent is quite large. Besides which, as Gioiello mentions, we don't know for sure that the other Y-haps (J1, J2-M172 and T-M70) all came to Portugal as Jewish.

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  4. They answer their own question, 'Concerning haplogroup lineages, we detected some admixture with the Western European non-Jewish populations (R1b1b2-M269, 28%)'. Twenty-eight percent is quite large. Besides which, as Gioiello mentions, we don't know for sure that the other Y-haps (J1, J2-M172 and T-M70) all came to Portugal as Jewish.

    We also don't know how much of that R1b1b2 represents admixture in western Europe and how much was present in the original Near Eastern Jewish source population.

    In other studies, up to 50% or so of the R1b1b2 among Jewish populations appears to be non-Western European.

    VV

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  5. This is a pious thinking and desire of yours and your ineradicable petition of principle. It is already something that you don’t pretend that R1b-subclades are Jewish, but the fact they are R1b1b2 from L23- to L11+ it is all to demonstrate. First of all that they aren’t from Western Europe doesn’t mean they are from Palestine. Nobody there is today R-L23-. This haplotypes are found from Italy to Armenia but we don’t know where is the origin (I have always supported that they expanded from Italy with mtDNA U5b3, and probably with K and others). We shall see. I am always waiting that you or Armenians exhibit some R-L23+/L150-, without which there aren’t the subclades: in Italy we have so far the only two in the world: Angelo and Zeno Romitti.
    Anyway all European Jews (from the 100% Sam Vass to the 25% Justin Low) are in the autosomal 100% Europeans (see 23andME).
    We have a true Jew: Ahmadinejad. Perhaps it would be interesting to test him. An Iranian in my 23andME sharing matches me at the low range of Europeans. Where is the Ahmadinejad’s green ball?
    Nobody of the Ashkanazi Jews tested are in the Middle East range.

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  6. This is a pious thinking and desire of yours and your ineradicable petition of principle. It is already something that you don’t pretend that R1b-subclades are Jewish, but the fact they are R1b1b2 from L23- to L11+ it is all to demonstrate.

    Regardless of how aggressively one wishes to insert adjectives into the discussion, the main point remains: without knowing the composition of the R-M269 in this sample we can't make an intelligent hypothesis about the origin of the R-M269.

    in Italy we have so far the only two in the world: Angelo and Zeno Romitti.

    Until more examples are found, the phylogenetic usefulness of L150 remains uncertain. As it stands, the L150- status of the Romitti family remains classified as a private back mutation and, consequently, irrelevant to the broader question of R-M269. Perhaps further discovery will change this situation, but at the moment this is where it stands.

    VV

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  7. "In other studies, up to 50% or so of the R1b1b2 among Jewish populations appears to be non-Western European".

    Which studies? And on what grounds do they claim R1b1b2 to be non-Western European? And does 'non-Western European' automatically mean Levant coast?

    Obviously just a small proportion of Jews descend from any sort of 'Abraham' one might conjure up, so they have always been a mixed people. I tend to agree with Gioiello, and several others here, that a large proportion of people claiming to be Jews have no ancient ancestry from anywhere along the Levant coast. That's how they have avoided the consequences of inbreeding.

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  8. And on what grounds do they claim R1b1b2 to be non-Western European?

    The point is not that all R1b1b2 is non-Western European. The point is that some R1b1b2 is non-Western European, and we don't know for this sample what proportion this represents.

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  9. To Vincent: about my aggressive use of adjectives: you know I am not of English mother tongue, I use English among another dozen of languages, but I am glad my English is efficacious.
    The fact that the mutation of the Romitti family is a back mutation of L150 I would you note that it is very improbable that a recent mutation (in your timing from only a few thousand years)has had a back mutation. Anyway this would oblige you to think that L150 happened not thousands of years ago but tens of thousands and all your house of cards would crash.
    Re: aggressivity I remember you I was banned from two forums.. but I am always here with all my ideas.

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  10. When the jews were expelled out of Portugal and Spain (1492 and 1496), some became crypto-jews, a small minority...
    The study is about one village and a small group of people (50-100)where there were high "endogamia" natural on those smal jewish community.

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  11. "The point is that some R1b1b2 is non-Western European, and we don't know for this sample what proportion this represents".

    We also don't know that any non-Western European R1b1b2 in this sample is Jewish. Anyway, it's obvious that 'Jewishness' is a cultural construct rather than being genetic. Even in this small village many different genetic groups make up the Jewish entity.

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  12. We also don't know that any non-Western European R1b1b2 in this sample is Jewish.

    They are all Jewish. That's the point of the paper.

    The idea that needed correcting was the implicit assumption at all the R1b1b2 represented recent admixture with western European populations. We know this is a faulty assumption: some of the R1b1b2 might represent that kind of admixture, but how much is an empirical question that can only be answered by further genotyping.

    Anyway, it's obvious that 'Jewishness' is a cultural construct rather than being genetic.

    Virtually every way in which people identify themselves as part of a group would be called a cultural construct: Christian, Greek, European, Celtic, farmer, etc. Each of these groups will be heterogeneous from a Y-chromosome perspective, just as this group of Portuguese Jews are. You may be the only one here surprised by this fact.

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  13. "You may be the only one here surprised by this fact".

    Do you mean to say that I am the only one here who believes Abraham was a real person?

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  14. Do you mean to say that I am the only one here who believes Abraham was a real person?

    You may be the only one here who thinks that matters.

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  15. I'm certainly not the only one who thinks it matters on a world scale. Descent from the mythical figure Abraham is used to justify all sorts of political agendas. So isn't it time we collectively set out to debunk the myth?

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  16. “Another historical irony: there were times in Europe when anyone who argued that all Jews belong to a nation of alien origin would have been classified at once as an anti-Semite. Nowadays, anyone who dares to suggest that the people known in the world as Jews (as distinct from today’s Jewish Israelis) have never been, and are still not, a people or a nation is immediately denounced as a Jew-hater” (Sh. Sand, The Invention of the Jewish people, p. 21).

    Good. But we shan’t forget that Sand is a Jew, and a Marxist.

    As Jews aren’t a people, no people there is. Let him die Samson and all the Philistines!

    There are peoples, exactly in the 23andME global similarity: peoples who are into a genetic handkerchief by their autosomal. Jews aren’t a people because they have a restrict autosomal field, but, like Americans and all the other mixed peoples from everywhere, their autosomal is large like the world. The fact that this will be the destiny of all peoples will be said by the future.

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  17. in Italy we have so far the only two in the world: Angelo and Zeno Romitti.

    The only one, relatives don't count. ;)

    Until more examples are found, the phylogenetic usefulness of L150 remains uncertain. As it stands, the L150- status of the Romitti family remains classified as a private back mutation and, consequently, irrelevant to the broader question of R-M269. Perhaps further discovery will change this situation, but at the moment this is where it stands.

    SNPs don't have a habit of back-mutating. There's the exceptional case of P25, and I think that's about it. If L150- had been observed in an illogical position, such as in a P311+ sample, then one could make the argument that it back-mutated, or much more likely, that there was a lab/clerical error. Notice that none of the almost 150 P311+ samples in Adrian's spreadsheet has a back-mutation in L150. This L150- sample is found exactly where it would be expected, and the default assumption should be that it is what it looks like, a new R1b haplogroup.

    Doesn't Thomas Krahn already consider this mutation to define a new haplogroup in his personal y-dna tree?

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  18. I thank you, Argiedude, for this: I have said to Vizachero the same things. The fact that father and son Romitti are L150- it is very important as it demonstrates that this mutation isn't a clerical error but a true not-mutation and like you say a "new haplogroup", ancestor of all subclades, and so far present only in Italy.

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  19. SNPs don't have a habit of back-mutating

    SNPs mtuate randomly, so they don't have a "habit" at all. Back mutations are rare, as all mutations are, but we already have observed several (as well as many parallel mutations) in the Y tree.

    In this particular scenario, what would really be unlikely is for the L23+ L150- state to represent a true paragroup BUT be so rare as to be constrained to a single family. In other words, if a paragroup of this age survives then the odds of it being infrequent (i.e. private) are slim.

    Also, in this case, L150 may not be an especially reliable SNP. 23andMe had trouble getting a dependable call from many of its customers, and the first primer design at FTDNA has also failed. The single L23+ L150- that Krahn thought he had turned out to be an error, for example. Cross-talk with the X may be one reason, but the semi-repetitive nature of the sequence around L150 may be another.

    Either way, the default assumption is always that what we observe it is NOT paragroup until we have the evidence to demonstrate that it is one. That's just the way the scientific process works. And for that, we await more data.

    VV

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  20. R1b is not European. It is just common there. J1 is not Jewish or Arabian. It is just common in some Arabians like the highly inbred Yemeni, Jews have more E1b1b than either J1 or J2.

    R1b1b2 is common in western Europe in the 21st century, and probably evolved in Europe around 5kya, probably younger. Wow, that sure makes it European! The further back you go towards the root of R1b1b2 the closer to Asia you get. You folks should stop this pseudo racist claptrap about European this or that or Middle Eastern this or that, at least based on sex chromosome haplogroups or mtDNA haplogroups. The new SNPs being found in the WTY project seem to give more of an indication of ethnic origins of the possessors. Example L65 is found in a group of Arabians who are J1e which separates them from other men who are J1e. European men who are J1e and have L65 probably indicates their direct paternal ancestor came from Arabia during the era of the Islamic push into Europe. More study is needed.

    Have any of you noticed that SNPs are geographically located, have more to do with GPS coordinates than one's race. That indicates that new SNPs arise for whatever reason when people make major geographical movements. R1b has blossomed into many subclades because of its recent origins and movements of men into the nooks and crannies of Europe. R1b is found (before Colonial movements) from western Europe to western Siberia to parts of the Middle East (Jordan) to Africa and the Canary Islands. It would be highly unusual not to find the plethora of subclades of this well spread haplogroup. E1b1b is also another well travelled haplogroup.

    That study of Jews is getting very boring. European Jews are a hybrid people composed of people of diverse origins with periods of outbreeding followed periods of intense endogamy. They are more a case of how haplogroups can get skewed by cultural and religious selection practices. The Amish is another group with peculiar haplogroup spreads and their own raft of genetic diseases.

    Since J1 was found in the remains of Aboriginal Canary Islanders, pre European or Arabian contacts, and before the Jews became noticed by Roman satirists like Juvenal or the Iberian Martial, it is likely J1 has little to do with Jews or Arabians when found in Europeans, and in Jews, due to their mixed parentage, who really knows.

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  21. "Have any of you noticed that SNPs are geographically located, have more to do with GPS coordinates than one's race".

    Exactly. In fact that's usually how speciation works, so it's usually very instructive if we look at SNPs from that perspective. That's what I've always done. Compared them first of all with the speciation of ducks.

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  22. The Invention of the Jewish People of Shlomo Sand is certainly one of the most important work in historiography in this beginning of the 21st century. Being he able to master Hebrew beside the most important European languages, he has given a complete and deep picture of the question. Following the recent methodological theories on the non neutrality of the research (every result is determined more by the project than by the data, which are used to demonstrate that and not the contrary as it should be, and he has had the kindness to recognize that the Italian philosopher and historian Benedetto Croce had already theorized this by his theory of the “contemporaneity” of historiography), he has been able to reveal all the assumptions of many knots of the Jewish history. There are no proof that Jewish history began with Abraham in 19th century BC and probably neither that Jewish history began in the 13th century BC after the Sea Peoples invasion and the fall of Hittite Empire, which is the theory currently followed on the history books. And there are no proof either of the kings around the 10th century. No Saul, no David, no Salomon. No temple. Jewish history (and the writing of the Bible) began in the 6th century, after the Exile. From there Jewish history is a mix of facts and theories, used for demonstrating political agendas. The book is very rich of these episodes till the present. First of all the theory of a Jewish race that descends directly from Abraham and that justifies the theory of the aliyah, the return to “promised land” for the Zionists. The proofs have never supported these theories: neither archeology nor genetics. Not only the Jewish communities in the world are genetically linked to the peoples among them they are living (Ashkenazim are autosomally Europeans, etc.), but, in spite of the funds generously given to the most famous Jewish scholars, they have failed (no Cohen Modal Haplotype, etc.). Every people has born from the fusion during many thousands of years of different supplies. If the law that forbids weddings of Jews with other people will be maintained, after some thousands of years also Jews of Israel will be a “people”, genetically determined. The same happened to Ashkenazim, which are the result of a thousand years of inbreeding of not more than 25,000 individuals of different origin, mostly Italians, Germans of the Rhine Valley, East Europeans, Khazarians and perhaps someone who escaped from Middle East.
    But also Sand, as every researcher, has his agenda, and it is the present that urges him: “The ideal project for solving the century-long conflict and sustaining the closely woven existence of Jews and Arabs would be the creation of a democratic binational state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River” (p. 311).
    But we must see if this is possible, i.e. if the Arab fundamentalism will accept this helping hand. Beside Croce I would quote another Italian historian (and politician): “Perché uno uomo che voglia fare in tutte le parte professione di buono conviene ruini infra tanti che non sono buoni” (Il Principe).

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  23. "There are no proof that Jewish history began with Abraham in 19th century BC and probably neither that Jewish history began in the 13th century BC after the Sea Peoples invasion and the fall of Hittite Empire, which is the theory currently followed on the history books. And there are no proof either of the kings around the 10th century. No Saul, no David, no Salomon. No temple. Jewish history (and the writing of the Bible) began in the 6th century, after the Exile".

    That's exactly how I understand the facts to be. Well summed up.

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  24. The comment above is actuallt Terryt but it's come out my wife's address for some reason.

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  25. I'm up and running again now.

    I'm certain that Abraham is mythical, or if not mythical he is much more recent than 2000 BC. Israel Finkelstein argues in his book "Solomon and David" that Solomon is certainly mythical but David may be based on fact. David may have fought for various factions in a small 'independence' war fought in the Yisra'el valley when the Egyptians were using Phillistine mercenaries to guard the trading routes there. From that we can see that the Old Testament does preserve memories of Sea People times, but it in no way follows that the religion was established by then. Or even immediately afterwards.

    Finkelstein maintains, and I've read it elsewhere, that the stories that make up the OT were collected and edited around the time of King Josiah, just before the exile. Of course the OT needed major revision after the return from exile.

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