European Roma groups show complex West Eurasian admixture footprints and a common South Asian genetic origin

Autoři: Neus Font-Porterias aff001;  Lara R. Arauna aff001;  Alaitz Poveda aff003;  Erica Bianco aff001;  Esther Rebato aff004;  Maria Joao Prata aff005;  Francesc Calafell aff001;  David Comas aff001
Působiště autorů: Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF-CSIC), Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain aff001;  Unit of Human Evolutionary Genetics, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France aff002;  Department of Clinical Sciences, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Lund University Diabetes Centre, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden aff003;  Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Leioa, Spain aff004;  Instituto de Investigacão e Inovacão em Saude/Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: European Roma groups show complex West Eurasian admixture footprints and a common South Asian genetic origin. PLoS Genet 15(9): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008417
Kategorie: Research Article


The Roma population is the largest transnational ethnic minority in Europe, characterized by a linguistic, cultural and historical heterogeneity. Comparative linguistics and genetic studies have placed the origin of European Roma in the Northwest of India. After their migration across Persia, they entered into the Balkan Peninsula, from where they spread into Europe, arriving in the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century. Their particular demographic history has genetic implications linked to rare and common diseases. However, the South Asian source of the proto-Roma remains still untargeted and the West Eurasian Roma component has not been yet deeply characterized. Here, in order to describe both the South Asian and West Eurasian ancestries, we analyze previously published genome-wide data of 152 European Roma and 34 new Iberian Roma samples at a fine-scale and haplotype-based level, with special focus on the Iberian Roma genetic substructure. Our results suggest that the putative origin of the proto-Roma involves a Punjabi group with low levels of West Eurasian ancestry. In addition, we have identified a complex West Eurasian component (around 65%) in the Roma, as a result of the admixture events occurred with non-proto-Roma populations between 1270–1580. Particularly, we have detected the Balkan genetic footprint in all European Roma, and the Baltic and Iberian components in the Northern and Western Roma groups, respectively. Finally, our results show genetic substructure within the Iberian Roma, with different levels of West Eurasian admixture, as a result of the complex historical events occurred in the Peninsula.

Klíčová slova:

Autosomes – Europe – India – Population genetics – X chromosomes – Romani people – Genetic footprinting – Gene flow


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