A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages

Marta D. Costa, Joana B. Pereira, Maria Pala, Verónica Fernandes, Anna Olivieri, Alessandro Achilli, Ugo A. Perego, Sergei Rychkov, Oksana Naumova, Jiři Hatina, Scott R. Woodward, Ken Khong Eng, Vincent MacAulay, Martin Carr, Pedro Soares, Luísa Pereira, Martin B. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ∼40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history.

LanguageEnglish
Article number2543
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2013

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Mitochondrial DNA
Judaism
Mothers
Jews
Middle East
deoxyribonucleic acid
History
histories
Population

Cite this

Costa, Marta D. ; Pereira, Joana B. ; Pala, Maria ; Fernandes, Verónica ; Olivieri, Anna ; Achilli, Alessandro ; Perego, Ugo A. ; Rychkov, Sergei ; Naumova, Oksana ; Hatina, Jiři ; Woodward, Scott R. ; Eng, Ken Khong ; MacAulay, Vincent ; Carr, Martin ; Soares, Pedro ; Pereira, Luísa ; Richards, Martin B. / A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages. In: Nature Communications. 2013 ; Vol. 4. pp. 1-10.
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abstract = "The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ∼40{\%} of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history.",
author = "Costa, {Marta D.} and Pereira, {Joana B.} and Maria Pala and Ver{\'o}nica Fernandes and Anna Olivieri and Alessandro Achilli and Perego, {Ugo A.} and Sergei Rychkov and Oksana Naumova and Jiři Hatina and Woodward, {Scott R.} and Eng, {Ken Khong} and Vincent MacAulay and Martin Carr and Pedro Soares and Lu{\'i}sa Pereira and Richards, {Martin B.}",
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Costa, MD, Pereira, JB, Pala, M, Fernandes, V, Olivieri, A, Achilli, A, Perego, UA, Rychkov, S, Naumova, O, Hatina, J, Woodward, SR, Eng, KK, MacAulay, V, Carr, M, Soares, P, Pereira, L & Richards, MB 2013, 'A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages', Nature Communications, vol. 4, 2543, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms3543

A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages. / Costa, Marta D.; Pereira, Joana B.; Pala, Maria; Fernandes, Verónica; Olivieri, Anna; Achilli, Alessandro; Perego, Ugo A.; Rychkov, Sergei; Naumova, Oksana; Hatina, Jiři; Woodward, Scott R.; Eng, Ken Khong; MacAulay, Vincent; Carr, Martin; Soares, Pedro; Pereira, Luísa; Richards, Martin B.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 4, 2543, 08.10.2013, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Eng, Ken Khong

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AU - Richards, Martin B.

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