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Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan

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The American Society of Human Genetics
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PMC
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Abstract

Eighteen binary polymorphisms and 16 multiallelic, short-tandem-repeat (STR) loci from the nonrecombining portion of the human Y chromosome were typed in 718 male subjects belonging to 12 ethnic groups of Pakistan. These identified 11 stable haplogroups and 503 combination binary marker/STR haplotypes. Haplogroup frequencies were generally similar to those in neighboring geographical areas, and the Pakistani populations speaking a language isolate (the Burushos), a Dravidian language (the Brahui), or a Sino-Tibetan language (the Balti) resembled the Indo-European–speaking majority. Nevertheless, median-joining networks of haplotypes revealed considerable substructuring of Y variation within Pakistan, with many populations showing distinct clusters of haplotypes. These patterns can be accounted for by a common pool of Y lineages, with substantial isolation between populations and drift in the smaller ones. Few comparative genetic or historical data are available for most populations, but the results can be compared with oral traditions about origins. The Y data support the well-established origin of the Parsis in Iran, the suggested descent of the Hazaras from Genghis Khan’s army, and the origin of the Negroid Makrani in Africa, but do not support traditions of Tibetan, Syrian, Greek, or Jewish origins for other populations.

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