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

Zerjal, Tatiana, Pandya, Arpita, Thangaraj, Kumarasamy, Ling, Edmund Y. S., Kearley, Jennifer, Bertoneri, Stefania, Paracchini, Silvia, Singh, Lalji and Tyler-Smith, Chris (2007) Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India. Human Genetics, 121 1: 137-144. doi:10.1007/s00439-006-0282-2

Author Zerjal, Tatiana
Pandya, Arpita
Thangaraj, Kumarasamy
Ling, Edmund Y. S.
Kearley, Jennifer
Bertoneri, Stefania
Paracchini, Silvia
Singh, Lalji
Tyler-Smith, Chris
Title Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India
Journal name Human Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0340-6717
Publication date 2007-03
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00439-006-0282-2
Volume 121
Issue 1
Start page 137
End page 144
Total pages 8
Place of publication New York, U.S.A.
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Language eng
Subject 0604 Genetics
1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
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. © Springer-Verlag 2006
Keyword Y chromosome
Human population substructure
Indian caste system
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Published online: 31 October 2006

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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