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Thread: The genetic landscape of Iran and the legacy of Zoroastrianism

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    The genetic landscape of Iran and the legacy of Zoroastrianism

    The genetic landscape of Iran and the legacy of Zoroastrianism: Comparing haplotype sharing patterns among ancient and modern-day samples using a mixture model

    Saioa López et al.

    Iran is considered a pivotal region in the Fertile Crescent, occupying a central space between Africa and Eurasia, and has thus been extensively studied to infer the development of the earliest human civilizations and farming settlements. From a historical and cultural perspective, this region is also of great interest as the cradle of Zoroastrianism. With reported roots dating back to the second millennium BC in Iran, Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions in the world and is now mainly concentrated in India, Iran, and Southern Pakistan. In this work we present novel genotype data from present-day Zoroastrians from Iran and India, along with a high coverage (10x) early Neolithic sample from Iran
    (7,455-7,082 BC), comparing these samples to publicly available genome-wide genotypes from >200 modern and ancient groups worldwide to elucidate patterns of shared ancestry. We apply a novel Bayesian mixture model to represent the DNA from modern and ancient groups or individuals as mixtures of that from other sampled groups or individuals, using a haplotype-based approach that is more powerful than commonly-used algorithms. Our mixture model identifies which sampled groups are most related to one another genetically, reflecting shared common ancestry relative to other groups due to e.g. admixture (i.e. intermixing of genetically distinct groups) or other historical processes. Interestingly,
    analysis of ancestry patterns revealed strong a!nities of the Neolithic Iranian sample to modern-day Pakistani and Indian populations, and particularly to Iranian Zoroastrians, in stark contrast to Neolithic samples from Europe. We also identify, describe and date recent admixture events in modern-day Iranian groups that have altered their current genetic make-up relative to these ancient origins.
    According to Davidski, they also have an Iron Age genome that's not mentioned in the abstract.

    http://quantitative-genomics.com/pro...erenceBook.pdf
    E-M84>FGC18389>FGC18413>FGC18401>FGC18422>Y99171 tMRCA 2550ybp

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    I hope it will be published soon, since there is a drought of aDNA papers lately.

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    I am still waiting a good investigation of Iranian Y-DNA NGS (full sequences) to observe possible specific SNPs found only (or mainly) in Iran and not found in other regions.
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    I coincidentally speculated with jesus regarding this just four days ago.

    In the same way modern Sardinians best represent the genetic heritage of Europe's neolithic farmers (instead of modern Turks), it appears (based on ADMIXTURE-derived GD patterns between various Iranian individuals and other populations) that central and southwestern Iranians have an "extra pull" towards all groups from South-Central Asia, irrespective of linguistic affinity.

    I suspect this means the other populations in Iran (particularly northerners) experienced additional admixture events since the early Neolithic (EEF-like ancestry expanding eastwards either in prehistory or with historical groups such as the Hurrians, steppe mediated ancestry from the Indo-Iranians and Oğuz Turks), thereafter experiencing a depreciation in that affinity, leaving it more intact in the centre and southwest of the Iranian plateau.

    The connection between early neolithic Iranian populations and modern Iranian Zoroastrians is something of a red herring, however, as most modern Iranians descend from the remaining mid-Medieval 20-25% who survived Genghis Khan's atrocities, who in turn chiefly descend from various Sassanian era peasant pockets, who were themselves Zoroastrian prior to their slow conversion to Islam. Most modern Iranians are therefore of "historical Zoroastrian stock". It is a mere coincidence of history that modern Iranian Zoroastrians (chiefly situated around Yazd) come from a part of the country that seems quite "Neolithic Iranian pulled".

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    Grugni et al (2012) in PLoS ONE genotyped Iranians which included Zoroastrians from Yadz and from Tehran. What both groups showed was increased J2a4h-L24 (17.6% and 15.4 % respectively). The Yadz Zoroastrians had 17.6% R1a1 while the Tehran Zoroastrians had M269*(xL23) at 15.4%. My guess is that the J2a4h's reflect the increased correspondence between Neolithic Iran and the Zoroastrians via autosomal DNA.

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    Iranian Zoroastrians are also chock-full of Y-DNA T compared to other populations, though their uniparental frequencies must have shifted substantially over time thanks to bottleneck effects and other forms of drift.

    I expect the ancestors of modern Iranian Zoroastrians had a similar distribution as surrounding populations. There isn't anything particular I'm aware of in Sassanian Persian history to suggest Yazdi Zoroastrians had any exclusive demographic phenomenon.

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    The more I read about this Neolithic sample, the more I wonder about the upcoming Natufian samples.
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
    יחזקאל פרק טז ג-


    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Yes I'm not sure why the abstract focussed on Zoroastrians, as the Neolthic Iranian sample (NIF), will be ancestral to all Iranians. They'll also mention Afghans and Pakhistanis . In fact the component peaks in Baluchistan & south India

    They'll also model this INF to have split off some 60 kya, even prior to ANF , but they probably didn't take into account WHG backflow into ANF

    They also imply that farming originated in a wider core than the Levant, with separate eastern and western farmers, somewhat as expected

    And yep, the iron shows new admixture across the entire region

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    The more I read about this Neolithic sample, the more I wonder about the upcoming Natufian samples.
    Still a while away unfortunately

    But apprently one of the labs has a EUP Baradostian sample from Warwasi ! Hopefully they can get something

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravetto-Danubian View Post
    Still a while away unfortunately

    But apprently one of the labs has a EUP Baradostian sample from Warwasi ! Hopefully they can get something
    Now that's definitely something I'm looking forward to
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
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    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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