Like Sugar in Milk: Reconstructing the genetic history of the Parsi population
Ajai Kumar Pathak,
Alla G Reddy,
Syed Qasim Mehdi,
Posted 19 Apr 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/128777 (published DOI: 10.1186/s13059-017-1244-9)
Posted 19 Apr 2017
Background: The Parsis, one of the smallest religious community in the world, reside in South Asia. Previous genetic studies on them, although based on low resolution markers, reported both Iranian and Indian ancestries. To understand the population structure and demographic history of this group in more detail, we analyzed Indian and Pakistani Parsi populations using high-resolution autosomal and uniparental (Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA) markers. Additionally, we also assayed 108 mitochondrial DNA markers among 21 ancient Parsi DNA samples excavated from Sanjan, in present day Gujarat, the place of their original settlement in India. Results: Our extensive analyses indicated that among present-day populations, the Parsis are genetically closest to Middle Eastern (Iranian and the Caucasus) populations rather than their South Asian neighbors. They also share the highest number of haplotypes with present-day Iranians and we estimate that the admixture of the Parsis with Indian populations occurred ~1,200 years ago. Enriched homozygosity in the Parsi reflects their recent isolation and inbreeding. We also observed 48% South-Asian-specific mitochondrial lineages among the ancient samples, which might have resulted from the assimilation of local females during the initial settlement. Conclusions: We show that the Parsis are genetically closest to the Neolithic Iranians, followed by present-day Middle Eastern populations rather than those in South Asia and provide evidence of sex-specific admixture from South Asians to the Parsis. Our results are consistent with the historically-recorded migration of the Parsi populations to South Asia in the 7th century and in agreement with their assimilation into the Indian subcontinent population and cultural milieu like sugar in milk. Moreover, in a wider context, our results suggest a major demographic transition in West Asia due to Islamic-conquest.
- Downloaded 938 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 14,848 out of 100,883
- In evolutionary biology: 843 out of 6,019
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 39,778 out of 100,883
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 9,252 out of 100,883
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!