Afghanistan's ethnic groups share a y-chromosomal heritage structured by historical events

Haber, M. and Platt, D. E. and Ashrafian Bonab, M. and Youhanna, S. C. and Soria-Hernanz, D. F. and Martínez-Cruz, B. and Douaihy, B. and Ghassibe-Sabbagh, M. and Rafatpanah, H. and Ghanbari, M. and Whale, J. and Balanovsky, O. and Wells, R. S. and Comas, D. and Tyler-Smith, C. and Zalloua, P. A. (2012) Afghanistan's ethnic groups share a y-chromosomal heritage structured by historical events. PLoS ONE, 7 (3).

[img] Other (artical)

Download (452kB)


Afghanistan has held a strategic position throughout history. It has been inhabited since the Paleolithic and later became a crossroad for expanding civilizations and empires. Afghanistan's location, history, and diverse ethnic groups present a unique opportunity to explore how nations and ethnic groups emerged, and how major cultural evolutions and technological developments in human history have influenced modern population structures. In this study we have analyzed, for the first time, the four major ethnic groups in present-day Afghanistan: Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, and Uzbek, using 52 binary markers and 19 short tandem repeats on the non-recombinant segment of the Y-chromosome. A total of 204 Afghan samples were investigated along with more than 8,500 samples from surrounding populations important to Afghanistan's history through migrations and conquests, including Iranians, Greeks, Indians, Middle Easterners, East Europeans, and East Asians. Our results suggest that all current Afghans largely share a heritage derived from a common unstructured ancestral population that could have emerged during the Neolithic revolution and the formation of the first farming communities. Our results also indicate that inter-Afghan differentiation started during the Bronze Age, probably driven by the formation of the first civilizations in the region. Later migrations and invasions into the region have been assimilated differentially among the ethnic groups, increasing inter-population genetic differences, and giving the Afghans a unique genetic diversity in Central Asia. © 2012 Haber et al.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :29 Export Date: 16 February 2020 Correspondence Address: Zalloua, P. A.; The Lebanese American University, Chouran, Beirut, Lebanon; email:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Afghanistan anthropology article civilization controlled study ethnic group genetic variability geographic distribution Hazara human Neolithic Pashtun population differentiation population dynamics population migration short tandem repeat Tajik Uzbek Y chromosomal inheritance Y chromosome ethnology genetics principal component analysis Chromosomes, Human, Y Ethnic Groups Humans
Subjects: QU Biochemistry
Divisions: Mashhad University of Medical Sciences
Depositing User: mr lib5 lib5
Date Deposited: 15 May 2020 20:33
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 20:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item