Home > Technical section > Biology > Molecular biology > Population genetics > By geographic areas > Asia > Indian subcontinent > Pakistan

Pakistan

Thursday 29 September 2005

Binary polymorphisms and multiallelic, short-tandem-repeat (STR) loci from the nonrecombining portion of the human Y chromosome studies identified 11 stable haplogroups and 503 combination binary marker/STR haplotypes.

Haplogroup frequencies were generally similar to those in neighboring geographical areas, and the Pakistani populations speaking a language isolate (the Burushos), a Dravidian language (the Brahui), or a Sino-Tibetan language (the Balti) resembled the Indo-European-speaking majority.

Median-joining networks of haplotypes revealed considerable substructuring of Y variation within Pakistan, with many populations showing distinct clusters of haplotypes. These patterns can be accounted for by a common pool of Y lineages, with substantial isolation between populations and drift in the smaller ones.

The Y data support the well-established origin of the Parsis in Iran, the suggested descent of the Hazaras from Genghis Khan’s army, and the origin of the Negroid Makrani in Africa, but do not support traditions of Tibetan, Syrian, Greek, or Jewish origins for other populations.

Northern Pakistan

- Three populations from northern Pakistan, the Burusho, Kalash, and Pathan, claim descent from soldiers left behind by Alexander the Great after his invasion of the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

  • The Kalash are genetically distinct, and that the Burusho and Pathan populations are genetically close to each other and the Greek population. (#14986106#)
  • Admixture estimates suggest a small Greek contribution to the genetic pool of the Burusho and Pathan and demonstrate that these two northern Pakistani populations share a common Indo-European gene pool that probably predates Alexander’s invasion. (#14986106#)
  • The genetically isolated Kalash population may represent the genetic pool of ancestral Eurasian populations of Central Asia or early Indo-European nomadic pastoral tribes that became sequestered in the valleys of the Hindu Kush Mountains. (#14986106#)

See also

- Hunza Burusho (Burushas)

References

- Mansoor A, Mazhar K, Khaliq S, Hameed A, Rehman S, Siddiqi S, Papaioannou M, Cavalli-Sforza LL, Mehdi SQ, Ayub Q. Investigation of the Greek ancestry of populations from northern Pakistan. Hum Genet. 2004 Apr;114(5):484-90. PMID: #14986106#

- Qamar R, Ayub Q, Mohyuddin A, Helgason A, Mazhar K, Mansoor A, Zerjal T, Tyler-Smith C, Mehdi SQ. Y-chromosomal DNA variation in Pakistan. Am J Hum Genet. 2002 May;70(5):1107-24. PMID: #11898125#