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Y Chromosomes Traveling South: The Cohen Modal Haplotype and the Origins of the Lemba—the “Black Jews of Southern Africa”

Show simple item record Le Roux, Magdel Mark, Thomas Parfitt, T. Skorecki, K. Bradman, N. Goldstein, D.B. 2017-03-08T08:07:42Z 2017-03-08T08:07:42Z 2000
dc.identifier.citation Co-author with Thomas, M G; Parfitt, T; Skorecki, K; Bradman, N & Goldstein D B. Y-chromosomes travelling south: The Cohen Modal Haplotype and the origins of the Lemba - the ‘Black Jews of southern Africa’. American Journal of Human Genetics 66 (2), 674-686. en
dc.description.abstract The Lemba are a traditionally endogamous group speaking a variety of Bantu languages who live in a number of locations in southern Africa. They claim descent from Jews who came to Africa from “Sena.” “Sena” is variously identified by them as Sanaa in Yemen, Judea, Egypt, or Ethiopia. A previous study using Y-chromosome markers suggested both a Bantu and a Semitic contribution to the Lemba gene pool, a suggestion that is not inconsistent with Lemba oral tradition. To provide a more detailed picture of the Lemba paternal genetic heritage, we analyzed 399 Y chromosomes for six microsatellites and six biallelic markers in six populations (Lemba, Bantu, Yemeni-Hadramaut, Yemeni-Sena, Sephardic Jews, and Ashkenazic Jews). The high resolution afforded by the markers shows that Lemba Y chromosomes are clearly divided into Semitic and Bantu clades. Interestingly, one of the Lemba clans carries, at a very high frequency, a particular Y-chromosome type termed the “Cohen modal haplotype,” which is known to be characteristic of the paternally inherited Jewish priesthood and is thought, more generally, to be a potential signature haplotype of Judaic origin. The Bantu Y-chromosome samples are predominantly (>80%) YAP+ and include a modal haplotype at high frequency. Assuming a rapid expansion of the eastern Bantu, we used variation in microsatellite alleles in YAP+ sY81-G Bantu Y chromosomes to calculate a rough date, 3,000–5,000 years before the present, for the start of their expansion en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier en
dc.subject Chromosome Y; en
dc.title Y Chromosomes Traveling South: The Cohen Modal Haplotype and the Origins of the Lemba—the “Black Jews of Southern Africa” en
dc.type Article en
dc.description.department Biblical and Ancient Studies en

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