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Thread: Northern Mesopotamian Y-DNA study, Assyrians, Yazidis, Kurds, Arabs etc. (Dogan et al. 2017)604 days old

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    Default Northern Mesopotamian Y-DNA study, Assyrians, Yazidis, Kurds, Arabs etc. (Dogan et al. 2017)

    Open access over at PLOS, published recently:

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstract
    Widely considered as one of the cradles of human civilization, Mesopotamia is largely situated in the Republic of Iraq, which is also the birthplace of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations. These lands were subsequently ruled by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mongolians, Ottomans and finally British prior to the independence. As a direct consequence of this rich history, the contemporary Iraqi population comprises a true mosaic of different ethnicities, which includes Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, and Yazidis among others. As such, the genetics of the contemporary Iraqi populations are of anthropological and forensic interest. In an effort to contribute to a better understanding of the genetic basis of this ethnic diversity, a total of 500 samples were collected from Northern Iraqi volunteers belonging to five major ethnic groups, namely: Arabs (n = 102), Kurds (n = 104), Turkmens (n = 102), Yazidis (n = 106) and Syriacs (n = 86). 17-loci Y-STR analyses were carried out using the AmpFlSTR Yfiler system, and subsequently in silico haplogroup assignments were made to gain insights from a molecular anthropology perspective. Systematic comparisons of the paternal lineages of these five Northern Iraqi ethnic groups, not only among themselves but also in the context of the larger genetic landscape of the Near East and beyond, were then made through the use of two different genetic distance metric measures and the associated data visualization methods. Taken together, results from the current study suggested the presence of intricate Y-chromosomal lineage patterns among the five ethic groups analyzed, wherein both interconnectivity and independent microvariation were observed in parallel, albeit in a differential manner. Notably, the novel Y-STR data on Turkmens, Syriacs and Yazidis from Northern Iraq constitute the first of its kind in the literature. Data presented herein is expected to contribute to further population and forensic investigations in Northern Iraq in particular and the Near East in general.
    Source: A glimpse at the intricate mosaic of ethnicities from Mesopotamia: Paternal lineages of the Northern Iraqi Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs, Turkmens and Yazidis
    Serkan Dogan, Cemal Gurkan, Mustafa Dogan, Hasan Emin Balkaya, Ramazan Tunc, Damla Kanliada Demirdov, Nihad Ahmed Ameen, Damir Marjanovic
    Published: November 3, 2017

    Disregarding the political motive of calling us "Syriacs" instead of Assyrian, personally I liked these parts:

    Finally, Syriacs, also known as Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arameans are also an ethnoreligious group native to Middle East, largely inhabiting a region from across modern Syria, Iraq and Iran. Syriacs are Semitic people that speak modern Arameic and adhere to different sects of Christianity. Syriacs are also an indigenous ethnic group of Modern Iraq, and are known to inhabit major cities, as well as in the mountainous regions to the east of Mosul, near Dohuk and Akra [8]. Recent estimates suggest that there are 133,000 Assyrians in Iraq, or less than 1% of total population [9].


    Results from the current study also suggested that, the paternal lineages of the Northern Iraqi Syriacs are rather homogenous, and exhibit signs of a strong population bottleneck, a situation perhaps even further emphasized due to strict endogamy known to be practiced in this ethnic group (Table 2). This also seems to be the case for the Northern Iraqi Yazidis, where strict endogamy is also practiced in a relatively small and isolated population of around half a million people [7, 47]. In the case of Northern Iraqi Syriacs, significant Rst genetic distances were observed with all other nearby populations, except for the Yazidis from the current study, and Iraqis, Iranians, Italian (Marche) and Turkish populations from Cukurova, the Marmara Region and Southeastern Anatolia in general (Table 3, Fig 2). In contrast, the Northern Iraqi Yazidis were found to have non-significant Rst genetic distances with all other four ethnic groups from the current study, as well as those from Albania, Cyprus, Iraq, Iran Lebanon and Italy (Marche), as well as the Turkish populations from the Marmara Region and Southeastern Anatolia (Table 3, Fig 2). Consequently, despite corresponding to isolated and homogenous populations, contemporary Syriacs and Yazidis from Northern Iraq may in fact have a stronger continuity with the original genetic stock of the Mesopotamian people, which possibly provided the basis for the ethnogenesis of various subsequent Near Eastern populations. Such an observation seems to be in line with genetic distance calculations based on a different method, namely Nei’s DA genetic distance, whereby the Northern Iraqi Syriac and Yazidi populations from the current study were found to position in the middle of a genetic continuum between the Near East and Southeastern Europe. Earlier Y-chromosomal haplogroup distribution data on Syriacs from Northern Iraq (n = 7) and Iran (n = 48 and 55) suggested an overall dominance by the R and J haplogroups [35, 39, 45]. In particular, in the most recent study with the highest haplogroup resolution (n = 48), R1a, R1b, J1 and J2 sub-clades were found to account for 8%, 29%, 15% and 15% in that order among Assyrians from Iran [39]. In this respect, the results from the current study, albeit on Northern Iraqi Syriacs (n = 86) are in good agreement because J and R subclades were observed at 36% and 41%, respectively, where R1a, R1b, J1 and J2 sub-clades accounted for 11%, 30%, 12% and 24%. Unfortunately no previously published data exists on the Y-chromosomal haplogroup distributions in Yazidis from Northern Iraq or elsewhere, hence precluding comparisons with those from the current study. Results from the current study suggest dominance by R haplogroup subclades among Yazidis, where R1a and R1b account for 9% and 21%, respectively. M-JN and associated TMRCA analyses on haplotypes with J1, J2a1b, R1a and R1b haplogroup assignments among Northern Iraqis all suggested in situ radiation as a plausible model to explain the diversity of the corresponding paternal lineages. This is because there were seemingly: (a) a number of star-like descent clusters in the J1 network, exclusively or partially comprised of Arab haplotypes, which dominated the overall network, (b) two star-like descent clusters in the R1b network, one comprising Syriac and the other Yazidi haplotypes, which also both dominated the overall network, and (c) two star-like descent clusters in the J2a1b network, one comprising Syriac / Kurdish and the other Yazidi haplotypes, although the overall network was dominated by Kurdish haplotypes.

    So there you have it: Assyrians are more native to Mesopotamia than so called "Iraqi Arabs" (Sunni, Shia or otherwise) And the dominant haplogroups among Assyrians and Yezidies, are R1a, R1b, J1 and J2.

    Anyway, what did this study get right and wrong? Also, what's Rst, how does it differ from Fst?
    Last edited by EliasAlucard; 2018-01-27 at 01:34.
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