The genetics of Bene Israel from India reveals both substantial Jewish and Indian ancestry

Yedael Y. Waldman, Arjun Biddanda, Natalie R. Davidson, Paul Billing-Ross, Maya Dubrovsky, Christopher L. Campbell, Carole Oddoux, Eitan Friedman, Gil Atzmon, Eran Halperin, Harry Ostrer, Alon Keinan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Bene Israel Jewish community from West India is a unique population whose history before the 18th century remains largely unknown. Bene Israel members consider themselves as descendants of Jews, yet the identity of Jewish ancestors and their arrival time to India are unknown, with speculations on arrival time varying between the 8th century BCE and the 6th century CE. Here, we characterize the genetic history of Bene Israel by collecting and genotyping 18 Bene Israel individuals. Combining with 486 individuals from 41 other Jewish, Indian and Pakistani populations, and additional individuals from worldwide populations, we conducted comprehensive genome-wide analyses based on FST, principal component analysis, ADMIXTURE, identity-by-descent sharing, admixture linkage disequilibrium decay, haplotype sharing and allele sharing autocorrelation decay, as well as contrasted patterns between the X chromosome and the autosomes. The genetics of Bene Israel individuals resemble local Indian populations, while at the same time constituting a clearly separated and unique population in India. They are unique among Indian and Pakistani populations we analyzed in sharing considerable genetic ancestry with other Jewish populations. Putting together the results from all analyses point to Bene Israel being an admixed population with both Jewish and Indian ancestry, with the genetic contribution of each of these ancestral populations being substantial. The admixture took place in the last millennium, about 19-33 generations ago. It involved Middle-Eastern Jews and was sexbiased, with more male Jewish and local female contribution. It was followed by a population bottleneck and high endogamy, which can lead to increased prevalence of recessive diseases in this population. This study provides an example of how genetic analysis advances our knowledge of human history in cases where other disciplines lack the relevant data to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0152056
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

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Israel
Chromosomes
Autocorrelation
Principal component analysis
India
ancestry
Genes
Population
Jews
18th Century History
Genetics
History
deterioration
history
autosomes
Linkage Disequilibrium
X Chromosome
X chromosome
linkage disequilibrium
Principal Component Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Waldman, Y. Y., Biddanda, A., Davidson, N. R., Billing-Ross, P., Dubrovsky, M., Campbell, C. L., ... Keinan, A. (2016). The genetics of Bene Israel from India reveals both substantial Jewish and Indian ancestry. PLoS One, 11(3), [e0152056]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152056

The genetics of Bene Israel from India reveals both substantial Jewish and Indian ancestry. / Waldman, Yedael Y.; Biddanda, Arjun; Davidson, Natalie R.; Billing-Ross, Paul; Dubrovsky, Maya; Campbell, Christopher L.; Oddoux, Carole; Friedman, Eitan; Atzmon, Gil; Halperin, Eran; Ostrer, Harry; Keinan, Alon.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 11, No. 3, e0152056, 01.03.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Waldman, YY, Biddanda, A, Davidson, NR, Billing-Ross, P, Dubrovsky, M, Campbell, CL, Oddoux, C, Friedman, E, Atzmon, G, Halperin, E, Ostrer, H & Keinan, A 2016, 'The genetics of Bene Israel from India reveals both substantial Jewish and Indian ancestry', PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 3, e0152056. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152056
Waldman YY, Biddanda A, Davidson NR, Billing-Ross P, Dubrovsky M, Campbell CL et al. The genetics of Bene Israel from India reveals both substantial Jewish and Indian ancestry. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 1;11(3). e0152056. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152056
Waldman, Yedael Y. ; Biddanda, Arjun ; Davidson, Natalie R. ; Billing-Ross, Paul ; Dubrovsky, Maya ; Campbell, Christopher L. ; Oddoux, Carole ; Friedman, Eitan ; Atzmon, Gil ; Halperin, Eran ; Ostrer, Harry ; Keinan, Alon. / The genetics of Bene Israel from India reveals both substantial Jewish and Indian ancestry. In: PLoS One. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 3.
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