A Perspective on the History of the Iberian Gypsies Provided by Phylogeographic Analysis of Y-Chromosome Lineages

Authors

  • A. Gusmão,

    1. Ipatimup, Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto. R. Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n. 4200-465 Porto. Portugal
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  • L. Gusmão,

    Corresponding author
    1. Ipatimup, Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto. R. Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n. 4200-465 Porto. Portugal
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  • V. Gomes,

    1. Ipatimup, Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto. R. Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n. 4200-465 Porto. Portugal
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  • C. Alves,

    1. Ipatimup, Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto. R. Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n. 4200-465 Porto. Portugal
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  • F. Calafell,

    1. Unitat de Biologia Evolutiva, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. 08003 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
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  • A. Amorim,

    1. Ipatimup, Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto. R. Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n. 4200-465 Porto. Portugal
    2. Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Pr. Gomes Teixeira, 4099-002 Porto. Portugal
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  • M. J. Prata

    1. Ipatimup, Instituto de Patologia e Imunologia da Universidade do Porto. R. Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n. 4200-465 Porto. Portugal
    2. Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Pr. Gomes Teixeira, 4099-002 Porto. Portugal
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*Corresponding Author: Leonor Gusmão, Ipatimup Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n 4200-465 Porto, Portugal. Tel: +351 22 5570700; Fax: +351 22 5570799; E-mail address: lgusmao@ipatimup.pt

Summary

The European Gypsies, commonly referred to as Roma, are represented by a vast number of groups spread across many countries. Although sharing a common origin, the Gypsy groups are highly heterogeneous as a consequence of genetic drift and different levels of admixture with surrounding populations. With this study we aimed at contributing to the knowledge of the Roma history by studying 17 Y-STR and 34 Y-SNP loci in a sample of 126 Portuguese Gypsies. Distinct genetic hallmarks of their past and migration route were detected, namely: an ancestral component, shared by all Roma groups, that reflects their origin in India (H1a-M82; ∼17%); an influence from their long permanence in the Balkans/Middle-East region (J2a1b-M67, J2a1b1-M92, I-M170, Q-M242; ∼31%); traces of contacts with European populations preceding the entrance in the Iberian Peninsula (R1b1c-M269, J2b1a-M241; ∼10%); and a high proportion of admixture with the non-Gypsy population from Iberia (R1b1c-M269, R1-M173/del.M269, J2a-M410, I1b1b-M26, E3b1b-M81; ∼37%). Among the Portuguese Gypsies the proportion of introgression from host populations is higher than observed in other groups, a fact which is somewhat unexpected since the arrival of the Roma to Portugal is documented to be more recent than in Central or East Europe.

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