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    Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India


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    Reference Type: Journal Article

    Record Number: 162

    Author: T. Zerjal, A. Pandya, K. Thangaraj, E. Y. Ling, J. Kearley, S. Bertoneri, S. Paracchini, L. Singh and C. Tyler-Smith

    Year: 2007

    Title: Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India

    Journal: Hum Genet

    Volume: 121

    Issue: 1

    Pages: 137-44

    Epub Date: 2006/11/01

    Date: Mar

    Short Title: Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India

    ISSN: 0340-6717 (Print)

    DOI: 10.1007/s00439-006-0282-2,

    Accession Number: 17075717

    Keywords: Chromosomes, Human, Y/*genetics, Genetic Markers, *Genetics, Population, Haplotypes, Humans, India, Male, Phylogeny, *Social Class,

    Abstract: The caste system has persisted in Indian Hindu society for around 3,500 years. Like the Y chromosome, caste is defined at birth, and males cannot change their caste. In order to investigate the genetic consequences of this system, we have analysed male-lineage variation in a sample of 227 Indian men of known caste, 141 from the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh and 86 from the rest of India. We typed 131 Y-chromosomal binary markers and 16 microsatellites. We find striking evidence for male substructure: in particular, Brahmins and Kshatriyas (but not other castes) from Jaunpur each show low diversity and the predominance of a single distinct cluster of haplotypes. These findings confirm the genetic isolation and drift within the Jaunpur upper castes, which are likely to result from founder effects and social factors. In the other castes, there may be either larger effective population sizes, or less strict isolation, or both.

    Notes: Zerjal, Tatiana, Pandya, Arpita, Thangaraj, Kumarasamy, Ling, Edmund Y S, Kearley, Jennifer, Bertoneri, Stefania, Paracchini, Silvia, Singh, Lalji, Tyler-Smith, Chris, 077009/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom, Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom, Comparative Study, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Germany, Human genetics, Hum Genet. 2007 Mar;121(1):137-44. Epub 2006 Oct 31.,

    Author Address: The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambs, CB10 1SA, UK.

    Language: eng