PDA

View Full Version : One third to half of Ashkenazi Jews belong to mt-haplogroup K



Maciamo
11-10-13, 22:53
A new paper by Costa et al. (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131008/ncomms3543/full/ncomms3543.html) analysed in detail the deep mitochondrial subclades of the Jewish population and compared them with European and Near Eastern sequences. Their conclusion is that over 80% of Jewish maternal lineages may be of European origin, and only 8.3% of clear Near Eastern origin. This would be extremely surprising considering that Jewishness has traditionally been passed on through the mothers rather than the fathers.

Flawed methodology

I tend to disagree with the way they attribute the origin of subclades because they only look at the places where subclades are found today and not at their potential migration patterns. For example, on their phylogenetic tree of haplogroup K they claim that K1b and K1b1 are of European origin but that K1b1c is Near Eastern. How could that have happened ? That's nonsense since haplogroup K was never found in Europe before the Neolithic and is undeniably of Near Eastern origin, a fact that they visibly are not ready to recognise since they place K and K1 in the category "undetermined origin".

They grant K2 an outright European origin simply because they estimate it to be 18,700 years old in Europe as opposed to 17,600 years old in the Near East. That is preposterous for two reasons: 1) age estimates for mtDNA are very unreliable, 2) comparison of age estimate by region should take into account historical population sizes. That's with this kind of method that other "professional" population geneticists estimated that R1a must have originated in India because it had a greater diversity there, before phylogeny proved that that wasn't the case.

It doesn't make much more sense that they should see haplogroup N1b, HV, H, J and M1 as European in origin. M1 is the oddest or all as it is pretty much limited to North Africa and is hardly ever found in Europe. If some subclades of these lineages are found predominantly in Europe it may be due to a founder effect in the Neolithic population. If some subclades are shared by the European and Jewish populations, it may also simply be because Neolithic farmers originated in the Levant, homeland of the Jews.


K as the main Ashkenazi maternal lineage

What picked my interest is that half of Ashkenazi Jews of Western and Central European origin, and one third of Eastern European origin belonged to haplogroup K, compared to an average of only about 5% in Europe and 6.5% in Germany. How could this have happened ? Genetic drift ? Natural selection ? This is how I remembered that haplogroup K, and especially K1, had been associated (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/24801-Medical-conditions-and-risk-factors-associated-with-mtDNA-haplogroups?p=350357&viewfull=1#post350357) with higher brain pH, better brain connectivity and higher IQ. Several studies have determined that Jewish people had the highest average IQ of any ethnic group, and there is no need to demonstrate that the number of famous Jewish scientists, economists, academics, Nobel laureates, etc. is disproportionately high compared to their share of the world population (even if we only look at developed countries). There are surely other genetic factors than merely mitochondrial DNA, but if mtDNA does play a role in intelligence could this haplogroup have been positively selected within the Jewish population over the centuries to cope with the more intellectual occupations that the Jews have tended to specialise in ?

Fire Haired
12-10-13, 06:39
Since Jews have been in Europe for at the most 2,000 years and different groups came at different times. Looking at how their haplogroups are distributed in Europe and the Near east today does seem like a good way to figure out if it is European or Near eastern. European Jews in austomal DNA definitely have a lot of Near eastern(click here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArAJcY18g2GadF9CLUJnTUdSbkVJaDR2UkRtUE9ka UE#gid=2)). And since Jewishness is passed down from the mother why would 80% of their maternal lineages be European. Also shouldn't there be non Jewish Europeans with Jewish blood and this could add some Near eastern Y DNA and mtDNA haplogroups and austomal DNA in Europe. It would be really cool if they could find proof of people in King David's, Abraham, Moses, etc. lineage and isn't there some evidence they found people in Aarons Moses's brother lineage. I think there is a lot to learn about Genetics in the Near east it seems everything in ancient DNA and Genetics right now is about Europe. I wonder how much the Arab Muslims in the middle ages really changed and even though like Iraqi people I know claim to be Arab's(a lot of Muslims want to) they mainly descend from Babylonians or whoever.

Alan
12-10-13, 16:04
mtDNA K is what connects Jews, Kurds and Druze the most.

According to Wikipedia (don't know how reliable) Ashkenazi Jews are 32% K, Kurds 17% and Druze 16%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_K_(mtDNA)

Angela
13-10-13, 22:27
The fact that the authors only used HVRI doesn't inspire total confidence in their results.

In sorting all of this out, it's interesting that a pretty recent study found that the mtdna in the Levant is also "European", in comparison to the y dna.
Badro et al, Y Chromosome and mtDNA Genetics Reveal Significant Contrasts in Affinities of Modern Middle Eastern Populations with European and African Populations.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054616

To me, that would seem to indicate that it is just as likely that the Ashkenazim brought some of these lineages with them from the Middle East, although I've seen discussion of the paper that makes the point that Cardial may have moved *to* the Levant rather than from it.

Probably only ancient dna will sort it out.

Regardless, something did move the Ashkenazim out of the Levant slightly at least, and some of them more than slightly. I don't think this graphic is outdated, and it seems to indicate that.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7303/fig_tab/nature09103_F2.html

Rose Bud
30-11-13, 08:04
Thank you for this post, it was most interesting. I recently had my DNA test results, and I am told I have a percentage of Ashkenazi in my DNA. My haplogroup is K1b2b. Same as Meryl Streep, according to '23 and me.' Do I really have Jewish ancestors? I am a female and had no idea that there was any Jewish on my mother's side. There was mention of maybe some on my father's side. How do I find out if the % of Ashkenazi came from my mtdna or autosomal?
I am a newcomer to all this.
Rose

adamo
04-12-13, 00:07
I heard that all Ashkenazi Jews on the mtdna side can be traced to 4 individual females; 3 of them were positive for mtdna K.

Angela
04-12-13, 00:53
I heard that all Ashkenazi Jews on the mtdna side can be traced to 4 individual females; 3 of them were positive for mtdna K.

I'm afraid you heard wrong.

kamani
04-12-13, 01:27
Thank you for this post, it was most interesting. I recently had my DNA test results, and I am told I have a percentage of Ashkenazi in my DNA. My haplogroup is K1b2b. Same as Meryl Streep, according to '23 and me.' Do I really have Jewish ancestors?

Most Europeans have some form of Levantine/Anatolian ancestry. Judaism is a "recent" event in history and cumulatively only a small percentage of the people in the Levant belong to it. So your Near Eastern ancestry could be Assyrian, Babilonian, Persian, Phoenician, Caananite, Amorite, Carthagenian, Khazarian or any other source that never bottlenecked but contributed genetically in the Ashkenazi bottleneck. So if you don't have any jewish relative, it is hard to answer your question.

adamo
04-12-13, 01:56
Then why do half of all Ashkenazi Jewish women have mtdna K, Angela? What could explain it if not an ancient founder-effect among Ashkenazi women (not the origins of mtdna K itself of course).

adamo
04-12-13, 13:39
I quote the deep ancestry genographic project book: " The K women also descend from a woman in the R branch of the tree. Because of the great genetic diversity found in haplogroup K, it is likely that she lived around 20,000 years ago. Interestingly, her descendants gave rise to several different subgroups, some of which exhibit very specific geographic homelands. The very old age of these subgroups has led to a wide distribution; today they Harbor specific European, North African, and Indian components; and are found in Arabia, the northern Caucasus mountains, and throughout the Middle East. While some members of this haplogroup headed north into Scandinavia, or south into north-Africa, the vast majority of K members stem from a group of individuals that headed north out of the Middle East. These women crossed the rugged Caucasus mountains into southern Russia, and moved on to the steppes of the Black Sea (westwards into Eastern Europe). Like the N1 lineage, mtdna K is very significant because it and its subgroups also constitute three of the four major Ashkenazi Jewish founder lineages. Around half of all Ashkenazi Jews trace their mitochondrial lineage back to one of four women, and mtdna K represents the lineage that gave rise to three of them. While this lineage is found in a smaller frequency in non-Ashkenazi Jewish females, the three K lineages that helped found the Ashkenazi population are seldom found in other populations. While virtually absent in Europeans, they appear at frequencies of 3% or higher in groups from the Levant, Arabia and Egypt. This indicates a strong genetic role in the Ashkenazi founder event, which likely occurred in the near east. Today, K has given rise to three of the four most common haplogroups in Ashkenazi Jews and is currently shared by more than three million people".

Angela
04-12-13, 17:12
Thank you for this post, it was most interesting. I recently had my DNA test results, and I am told I have a percentage of Ashkenazi in my DNA. My haplogroup is K1b2b. Same as Meryl Streep, according to '23 and me.' Do I really have Jewish ancestors? I am a female and had no idea that there was any Jewish on my mother's side. There was mention of maybe some on my father's side. How do I find out if the % of Ashkenazi came from my mtdna or autosomal?
I am a newcomer to all this.
Rose

In my opinion the most reliable test for Ashkenazi ancestry is 23andme. If you get Ashkenazi ancestry there, and you also get a lot of RF and AF matches with Ashkenazim, then you have recent Ashkenazi ancestry. (by recent I mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/32 or 1/64) If not, not.

There's a thread on there run by a very knowledgeable person, MiTuCents, who will look at your 23andme results and help you to make sense of them. Strictly in terms of the mtdna, there are some specific clades which are Ashkenazi clades. You need high resolution of your mtdna to know if you carry them.

adamo
04-12-13, 17:18
So was I wrong or was I right angela? : )

Angela
04-12-13, 17:21
Then why do half of all Ashkenazi Jewish women have mtdna K, Angela? What could explain it if not an ancient founder-effect among Ashkenazi women (not the origins of mtdna K itself of course).

There were numerous founder events among the Ashkenazim; mtDNA is just one of them. The point is that you incorrectly stated that ALL Ashkenazim can trace their ancestry to "four founding mothers". That is not what the relevant study said...not to mention that there is disagreement about how to interpret the findings of the study. The study and subsequent ones are publicly available, so some effort, in my opinion, should be made to get the facts straight.

adamo
04-12-13, 17:26
Did you read what I wrote at all? The extract from the deep ancestry book; what study? XD, shall I re-quote it for you again:

"mtdna K is very significant because it and its subgroups also constitute three of the four major Ashkenazi Jewish founder lineages. Around half of all Ashkenazi Jews trace their mitochondrial lineage back to one of four women, and mtdna K represents the lineage that gave rise to three of them."
And:
"Today, K has given rise to three of the four most common haplogroups in Ashkenazi Jews and is currently shared by more than three million people".

Angela
04-12-13, 17:51
Did you read what I wrote at all? The extract from the deep ancestry book; what study? XD, shall I re-quote it for you again:

"mtdna K is very significant because it and its subgroups also constitute three of the four major Ashkenazi Jewish founder lineages. Around half of all Ashkenazi Jews trace their mitochondrial lineage back to one of four women, and mtdna K represents the lineage that gave rise to three of them."
And:
"Today, K has given rise to three of the four most common haplogroups in Ashkenazi Jews and is currently shared by more than three million people".

I responded to your original comment that "I heard that all Ashkenazi Jews on the mtdna side can be traced to 4 individual females; 3 of them were positive for mtdna K."

That is incorrect. The operative and incorrect word is ALL. And to be blunt, I get rather tired of seeing unsubstantiated, un-referenced, statements that are nevertheless obviously incorrect being strewn on genetics sites, and even more so when they are presented in a dogmatic fashion, although that was not the case here. I get even more tired of posting references to studies which a simple google search would have brought to light, and which should have been read before such dogmatic statements were made.

And no, I didn't read your subsequent post where, probably in response to my post, you corrected yourself. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of spending all day on these Boards.

adamo
04-12-13, 18:12
You present a weak argument as you had no clue I was going to pull those citations out, nor did you know any of that information; in what way did I correct myself; I simply re-quoted what I had wrote earlier; your entire argument gravitates around the word "all". Awwww, don't be blunt and tired Angela; life's not so bad! : )

adamo
04-12-13, 18:29
And how do you know wether or not I spend all day on these boards; I find that rather strange to be honest lol

Angela
06-12-13, 22:48
You present a weak argument as you had no clue I was going to pull those citations out, nor did you know any of that information; in what way did I correct myself; I simply re-quoted what I had wrote earlier; your entire argument gravitates around the word "all". Awwww, don't be blunt and tired Angela; life's not so bad! : )


You present a weak argument as you had no clue I was going to pull those citations out, nor did you know any of that information; in what way did I correct myself; I simply re-quoted what I had wrote earlier; your entire argument gravitates around the word "all". Awwww, don't be blunt and tired Angela; life's not so bad! : )

You do know why they say never assume, don't you? :)

I don't think people go to a genetics thread to read off the cuff statements like "all" Ashkenazim descend from four founding mothers, when anyone who has paid any attention whatsoever to the topic of Ashkenazi ethnogenesis knows that Behar said approximately forty percent could perhaps be traced to these founders. I've been discussing this paper and posting about it for seven years...before your time, perhaps.

Before making dogmatic statements on a genetics site, I believe that at least some effort should be made to get the facts straight...a couple of minutes on google search would have led to the relevant studies.

That said, I probably wouldn't have commented quite so causticallly had I not been feeling particularly cranky...shopping during the Christmas season does that to me. :)

So, in a spirit of generosity, I will provide some citations. Be advised...there are no Cliff Notes available...

The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event, Behar et al, 2006.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1380291/

Counting the Founders: The Matrilineal Genetic Ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora, Behar et al, 2008
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2323359/

Anyone actually interested in the topic can then follow the citation trail to all the more recent studies...

adamo
07-12-13, 04:26
Kk , sounds good