The Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1* substantiates the autochthonous origin of Brahmins and the caste system

National Centre of Applied Human Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
Journal of Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 2.46). 02/2009; 54(1):47-55. DOI: 10.1038/jhg.2008.2
Source: PubMed


Many major rival models of the origin of the Hindu caste system co-exist despite extensive studies, each with associated genetic evidences. One of the major factors that has still kept the origin of the Indian caste system obscure is the unresolved question of the origin of Y-haplogroup R1a1*, at times associated with a male-mediated major genetic influx from Central Asia or Eurasia, which has contributed to the higher castes in India. Y-haplogroup R1a1* has a widespread distribution and high frequency across Eurasia, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, with scanty reports of its ancestral (R*, R1* and R1a*) and derived lineages (R1a1a, R1a1b and R1a1c). To resolve these issues, we screened 621 Y-chromosomes (of Brahmins occupying the upper-most caste position and schedule castes/tribals occupying the lower-most positions) with 55 Y-chromosomal binary markers and seven Y-microsatellite markers and compiled an extensive dataset of 2809 Y-chromosomes (681 Brahmins, and 2128 tribals and schedule castes) for conclusions. A peculiar observation of the highest frequency (up to 72.22%) of Y-haplogroup R1a1* in Brahmins hinted at its presence as a founder lineage for this caste group. Further, observation of R1a1* in different tribal population groups, existence of Y-haplogroup R1a* in ancestors and extended phylogenetic analyses of the pooled dataset of 530 Indians, 224 Pakistanis and 276 Central Asians and Eurasians bearing the R1a1* haplogroup supported the autochthonous origin of R1a1 lineage in India and a tribal link to Indian Brahmins. However, it is important to discover novel Y-chromosomal binary marker(s) for a higher resolution of R1a1* and confirm the present conclusions.

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    • "For example, the probable source area of mtDNA Hg R8 in South Asia was estimated using rank correlation analysis between Hg frequency and geographic distance (Thangaraj et al. 2009). Using rank correlation analysis of the Hg frequency and longitude/latitude values of Y-haplogroup R1a1 in different areas in India, the autochthonous origin of the caste system was supported (Sharma et al. 2009). Correlation of gene importance and evolution rate was analysed also using rank correlation method (Wang and Zhang 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we analyse 27-dimensional mtDNA haplogroup distributions of 174 Eurasian, North-African and American populations, including numerous ancient data as well. The main contribution of this work was the description of the haplogroup distribution of recent and ancient populations as compounds of certain hypothetic ancient core populations immediately or indirectly determining the migration processes in Eurasia for a long time. To identify these core populations, we developed a new iterative algorithm determining clusters of the 27 mtDNA haplogroups studied having strong rank correlation among each other within a definite subset of the populations. Based on this study, the current Eurasian populations can be considered as compounds of three early core populations regarding to maternal lineages. We wanted to show that a simultaneous analysis of ancient and recent data using a new iterative rank correlation algorithm and the weighted SOC learning technique may reveal the most important and deterministic migration processes in the past. This technique allowed us to determine geographically, historically and linguistically well-interpretable clusters of our dataset having a very specific, hardly classifiable structure. The method was validated using a 2-dimensional stepping stone model.
    MGG Molecular & General Genetics 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00438-015-1084-9 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    • "Then, the language migrated with the same R1a haplogroup to the Balkans and across Europe, where around 6000 ybp it split into branches; members of haplogroup R1a arrived around 4800 -4600 ybp on the Russian Plain as speakers of Indo-European language(s). DNA genealogy has confirmed that haplogroup R1a arrived in India as the legendary Aryans around 3500 ybp; even today nearly 72% of some Indian upper castes are R1a bearers (Sharma et al., 2009). Therefore, it seems that it was indeed haplogroup R1a carried PIE from about 20,000 to 10,000 ybp, and IE (or some kind of proto-or pre-IE languages from about 10,000 to 3500 ybp. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article attempts to merge the data of contemporary linguistics and DNA genealogy in order to describe the migrations and settlement of peoples and languages in Europe after the last Ice Age. In the new paradigm, three important groups of players have been identified: - R1a haplogroup bearers, conditionally identified as Aryans. They arose around 20,000 years before the present (ybp) in central Asia and the Altai Mountains; after their migration along the southern route, they arrived in Europe between 10,000-9,000 ybp, bringing proto-Indo European (PIE) and Indo European (IE) languages. In 4800 ybp they migrated eastward from Europe to the Russian Plain and then to India. About 3000-2500 ybp they migrated with their IE languages from the Russian Plain back to central, western, and southern Europe, laying the genetic groundwork for peoples later called Celts, Germans, Italics, Greeks, Illyrians, and Balto-Slavs. - E, F, G, J, I, K haplogroup bearers. The dates of their arrival in Europe (sometime before 5,000 ybp) and their migration routes remain obscure. They apparently spoke non-IE languages. - R1b haplogroup bearers, called the Arbins. They arose about 16,000 ybp in central Asia, and migrated to Europe along a northern route. They arrived in Europe between 4,800 and 4,500 ybp bringing with them several non-IE languages. It seems that the arrival of the Aryans (R1a) in Europe was peaceful. There are no clear indications that their arrival triggered any sort of violence. However, the migration of the Arbins (R1b) was marked by an almost complete elimination of the E1b, F, G2a, J, I1, I2, and K haplogroups from Europe. Our analysis of current linguistic theories in the light of DNA genealogy data demonstrates that: - the Anatolian theory is generally compatible with DNA genealogy data; - the Vasconic and Afro-asiatic substratum theory is partially in agreement with DNA genealogy data; - the Kurgan theory and the Palaeolithic Continuity Theory (PCT) appear incompatible with the history of Europe based on haplogroup data. - the "Out of Africa" theory has questionable validity.
    Advances in Anthropology 05/2013; Vol. 3(No. 2):101-111. DOI:10.4236/aa.2013.32014
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    • "However, the coalescent age of 10.3 KYA for R1a1- Z93 chromosomes in this study is lower than that of populations of the Indus Valley (14 KYA) for the STR associated diversity of R1a1a*(xM458) chromosomes calculated by Underhill et al. (2010). Previous publications have pointed out that regions of highest haplogroup frequencies do not always indicate the territory of origin (Cinnioglu et al., 2004) and high STR diversity may not be exclusively an indicator of in-situ diversification but could also be the consequence of repeated gene flow from different sources (Zerjal et al., 2002; Sharma et al., 2009). It is an open question as to whether the Andronovo and Tarim Basin R1a1-M198 peoples (Keyser et al., 2009; Li et al., 2010) belonged to the R1a1-Z280 group, the R1a1-Z93 group, or both. "
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    ABSTRACT: Haplogroup R1a1-M198 is a major clade of Y chromosomal haplogroups which is distributed all across Eurasia. To this date, many efforts have been made to identify large SNP-based subgroups and migration patterns of this haplogroup. The origin and spread of R1a1 chromosomes in Eurasia has, however, remained unknown due to the lack of downstream SNPs within the R1a1 haplogroup. Since the discovery of R1a1-M458, this is the first scientific attempt to divide haplogroup R1a1-M198 into multiple SNP-based sub-haplogroups. We have genotyped 217 R1a1-M198 samples from seven different population groups at M458, as well as the Z280 and Z93 SNPs recently identified from the “1000 Genomes Project”. The two additional binary markers present an effective tool because now more than 98% of the samples analyzed assign to one of the three sub-haplogroups. R1a1-M458 and R1a1-Z280 were typical for the Hungarian population groups, whereas R1a1-Z93 was typical for Malaysian Indians and the Hungarian Roma. Inner and Central Asia is an overlap zone for the R1a1-Z280 and R1a1-Z93 lineages. This pattern implies that an early differentiation zone of R1a1-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe. The detection of the Z93 paternal genetic imprint in the Hungarian Roma gene pool is consistent with South Asian ancestry and amends the view that H1a-M82 is their only discernible paternal lineage of Indian heritage.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 12/2012; 149(4). DOI:10.1002/ajpa.22167 · 2.38 Impact Factor
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