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Paternal genetic history of the Vlax Roma

Forensic Science International: Genetics
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Paternal genetic history of the Vlax Roma

Andrea Zalána, Judit Béresb and Horolma Pamjava, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author

a Institute of Forensic Medicine, Network of Forensic Science Institutes, Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, Budapest, Hungary

b National Centre for Healthcare Audit and Improvement, Budapest, Hungary

Available online 24 September 2010.

Abstract

Romanies constitute the largest minority group belonging to different subgroups in Hungary. Vlax Romanies are one of these Romani subgroups. The Gypsies came to Hungary from the Balkans in two large migrations. The Carpathian Romanies arrived in the 15th century and the Vlax Romanies came in the 19th century. The Carpathian Gypsies speak Hungarian and the Vlax Romanies speak Hungarian and Romani languages.

Only a limited number of genetic studies of Y-chromosomal haplotypes/haplogroups have been done before, moreover most studies did not contain information regarding the investigated Roma populations which subgroups belong to.

In the present study, we analyzed a wide set of Y-chromosomal markers to do comparable studies of the Vlax Roma in eastern Hungarian regions. The results can be compared in the context of previously published data on other Romani groups, Indian and Hungarian reference populations.

Haplogroups H1a-M82 and J2a2-M67 were most common in the investigated population groups. A median-joining network of haplogroup H1a-M82 has demonstrated the sharing of identical Indian specific Y-chromosomal lineages between all Romani populations including Malaysian Indians as well as the Vlax Romanies. This common lineage of haplogroup H1a-M82 represents a common descent from a single ancestor provides a strong genetic link to the ancestral geographical origin of the proto-Gypsies.

The detected haplogroups in the Vlax Romani population groups can be classified into two different Y-chromosomal lineages based on their putative origin. These lineages include ancestral Indian (H1a-M82), present-day Eurasian (J2a2-M67, J2*-M172, E1b1b1a-M78, I1-M253, R1a1-M198 and R1b1-P25) Y-chromosome lineages. Presence of these lineages in the paternal gene pool of the Roma people is illustrative of the Gypsy migration route from India through the Balkan to the Carpathian Basin.

Keywords: Vlax Roma; Y-STRs; Y-SNPs; Phylogenetics; Hungary


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