ABSTRACT: The 8-10 million European Roma/Gypsies are a founder population of common origins that has subsequently split into multiple socially divergent and geographically dispersed Gypsy groups. Unlike other founder populations, whose genealogy has been extensively documented, the demographic history of the Gypsies is not fully understood and, given the lack of written records, has to be inferred from current genetic data. In this study, we have used five disease loci harboring private Gypsy mutations to examine some missing historical parameters and current structure. We analyzed the frequency distribution of the five mutations in 832-1,363 unrelated controls, representing 14 Gypsy populations, and the diversification of chromosomal haplotypes in 501 members of affected families. Sharing of mutations and high carrier rates supported a strong founder effect, and the identity of the congenital myasthenia 1267delG mutation in Gypsy and Indian/Pakistani chromosomes provided the best evidence yet of the Indian origins of the Gypsies. However, dramatic differences in mutation frequencies and haplotype divergence and very limited haplotype sharing pointed to strong internal differentiation and characterized the Gypsies as a founder population comprising multiple subisolates. Using disease haplotype coalescence times at the different loci, we estimated that the entire Gypsy population was founded approximately 32-40 generations ago, with secondary and tertiary founder events occurring approximately 16-25 generations ago. The existence of multiple subisolates, with endogamy maintained to the present day, suggests a general approach to complex disorders in which initial gene mapping could be performed in large families from a single Gypsy group, whereas fine mapping would rely on the informed sampling of the divergent subisolates and searching for the shared genomic region that displays the strongest linkage disequilibrium with the disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Congenital Cataract Facial Dysmorphism and demyelinating Neuropathy (CCFDN, OMIM 604468) is an autosomal recessive multi-system disorder which was first described in Bulgarian Gypsies in 1999. It is caused by the homozygous founder mutation c.863 + 389C > T in the CTDP1 gene. The syndrome has been described exclusively in patients of Gypsy ancestry. The prevalence of this disorder in the Gypsy population in the Czech Republic and Central Europe is not known and is probably underestimated and under-diagnosed. METHODS: We clinically diagnosed and assessed 10 CCFDN children living in the Czech Republic. All patients are children of different ages, all of Gypsy origin born in the Czech Republic. Molecular genetic testing for the founder CTDP1 gene mutation was performed. RESULTS: All patients are homozygous for the c.863 + 389C > T mutation in the CTDP1 gene. All patients presented a bilateral congenital cataract and microphthalmos and had early cataract surgery. Correct diagnosis was not made until the age of two. All patients had variably delayed motor milestones. Gait is characteristically paleocerebellar in all the patients. Mental retardation was variable and usually mild. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical diagnosis of CCFDN should be easy for an informed pediatrician or neurologist by the obligate signalling trias of congenital bilateral cataract, developmental delay and later demyelinating neuropathy. Our data indicate a probably high prevalence of CCFDN in the Czech Gypsy ethnic subpopulation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Data provided by the social sciences as well as genetic research suggest that the 8-10 million Roma (Gypsies) who live in Europe today are best described as a conglomerate of genetically isolated founder populations. The relationship between the traditional social structure observed by the Roma, where the Group is the primary unit, and the boundaries, demographic history and biological relatedness of the diverse founder populations appears complex and has not been addressed by population genetic studies. RESULTS:Recent medical genetic research has identified a number of novel, or previously known but rare conditions, caused by private founder mutations. A summary of the findings, provided in this review, should assist diagnosis and counselling in affected families, and promote future collaborative research. The available incomplete epidemiological data suggest a non-random distribution of disease-causing mutations among Romani groups. CONCLUSION:Although far from systematic, the published information indicates that medical genetics has an important role to play in improving the health of this underprivileged and forgotten people of Europe. Reported carrier rates for some Mendelian disorders are in the range of 5-15%, sufficient to justify newborn screening and early treatment, or community-based education and carrier testing programs for disorders where no therapy is currently available. To be most productive, future studies of the epidemiology of single gene disorders should take social organisation and cultural anthropology into consideration, thus allowing the targeting of public health programs and contributing to the understanding of population structure and demographic history of the Roma.
Project description:Previous genetic, anthropological and linguistic studies have shown that Roma (Gypsies) constitute a founder population dispersed throughout Europe whose origins might be traced to the Indian subcontinent. Linguistic and anthropological evidence point to Indo-Aryan ethnic groups from North-western India as the ancestral parental population of Roma. Recently, a strong genetic hint supporting this theory came from a study of a private mutation causing primary congenital glaucoma. In the present study, complete mitochondrial control sequences of Iberian Roma and previously published maternal lineages of other European Roma were analyzed in order to establish the genetic affinities among Roma groups, determine the degree of admixture with neighbouring populations, infer the migration routes followed since the first arrival to Europe, and survey the origin of Roma within the Indian subcontinent. Our results show that the maternal lineage composition in the Roma groups follows a pattern of different migration routes, with several founder effects, and low effective population sizes along their dispersal. Our data allowed the confirmation of a North/West migration route shared by Polish, Lithuanian and Iberian Roma. Additionally, eleven Roma founder lineages were identified and degrees of admixture with host populations were estimated. Finally, the comparison with an extensive database of Indian sequences allowed us to identify the Punjab state, in North-western India, as the putative ancestral homeland of the European Roma, in agreement with previous linguistic and anthropological studies.
Project description:The c.1544+1G>A substitution at the 5' splice donor site of intron 15 of the ITGA2B gene, called the French Gypsy mutation, causes Glanzmann thrombasthenia, an inherited hemorrhagic disorder transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait and characterized by an altered synthesis of the platelet ?IIb?3 integrin. So far, this mutation has only been found in affected individuals originating from French Manouche families, strongly suggesting a founder effect. Our goal was to investigate the origin of the French Gypsy mutation. We estimated the age of the mutation by a likelihood-based method that uses the length of the shared haplotypes among a set of patients. For this, we genotyped 23 individuals of Manouche origin; consisting of 9 Glanzmann thrombasthenia patients homozygous for the French Gypsy mutation, 6 heterozygous carriers and 8 homozygous wild-type individuals. They were genotyped for four single-nucleotide polymorphisms using high-resolution melting curve analysis, and for two CA repeats in the BRCA1 and THRA genes at chromosome 17, using fragment analysis gels. We found that a haplotype of five polymorphic loci covering a 4-cM region was strongly associated with the French Gypsy mutation, suggesting a founder effect. The estimated age of this founder mutation was 300-400 years (range 255-552 years). Thus, all carriers of the French Gypsy mutation c.1544+1G>A at intron 15 descended from a common ancestor 300-400 years ago.
Project description:Primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) is an autosomal recessive eye disease that occurs at an unusually high frequency in the ethnic isolate of Roms (Gypsies) in Slovakia. Recently, we linked the disease in this population to the GLC3A locus on 2p21. At this locus, mutations in the cytochrome P4501B1 (CYP1B1) gene have been identified as a molecular basis for this condition. Here, we report the results of CYP1B1 mutation screening of 43 PCG patients from 26 Slovak Rom families. A homozygous G-->A transition at nucleotide 1505 in the highly conserved region of exon 3 was detected in all families. This mutation results in the E387K substitution, which affects the conserved K helix region of the cytochrome P450 molecule. Determination of the CYP1B1 polymorphic background showed a common DNA haplotype in all patients, thus indicating that the E387K mutation in Roms has originated from a single ancestral mutational event. The Slovak Roms represent the first population in which PCG is found to result from a single mutation in the CYP1B1 gene, so that a founder effect is the most plausible explanation of its increased incidence. An ARMS-PCR assay has been developed for fast detection of this mutation, thus allowing direct DNA based prenatal diagnosis as well as gene carrier detection in this particular population. Screening of 158 healthy Roms identified 17 (10.8%) mutation carriers, indicating that the frequency of PCG in this population may be even higher than originally estimated.
Project description:The 185delAG* BRCA1 mutation is encountered primarily in Jewish Ashkenazi and Iraqi individuals, and sporadically in non-Jews. Previous studies estimated that this is a founder mutation in Jewish mutation carriers that arose before the dispersion of Jews in the Diaspora ~2500 years ago. The aim of this study was to assess the haplotype in ethnically diverse 185delAG* BRCA1 mutation carriers, and to estimate the age at which the mutation arose. Ethnically diverse Jewish and non-Jewish 185delAG*BRCA1 mutation carriers and their relatives were genotyped using 15 microsatellite markers and three SNPs spanning 12.5?MB, encompassing the BRCA1 gene locus. Estimation of mutation age was based on a subset of 11 markers spanning a region of ~5?MB, using a previously developed algorithm applying the maximum likelihood method. Overall, 188 participants (154 carriers and 34 noncarriers) from 115 families were included: Ashkenazi, Iraq, Kuchin-Indians, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Tunisia, Bulgaria, non-Jewish English, non-Jewish Malaysian, and Hispanics. Haplotype analysis indicated that the 185delAG mutation arose 750-1500 years ago. In Ashkenazim, it is a founder mutation that arose 61 generations ago, and with a small group of founder mutations was introduced into the Hispanic population (conversos) ~650 years ago, and into the Iraqi-Jewish community ~450 years ago. The 185delAG mutation in the non-Jewish populations in Malaysia and the UK arose at least twice independently. We conclude that the 185delAG* BRCA1 mutation resides on a common haplotype among Ashkenazi Jews, and arose about 61 generations ago and arose independently at least twice in non-Jews.
Project description:The Roma, also known as 'Gypsies', represent the largest and the most widespread ethnic minority of Europe. There is increasing evidence, based on linguistic, anthropological and genetic data, to suggest that they originated from the Indian subcontinent, with subsequent bottlenecks and undetermined gene flow from/to hosting populations during their diaspora. Further support comes from the presence of Indian uniparentally inherited lineages, such as mitochondrial DNA M and Y-chromosome H haplogroups, in a significant number of Roma individuals. However, the limited resolution of most genetic studies so far, together with the restriction of the samples used, have prevented the detection of other non-Indian founder lineages that might have been present in the proto-Roma population. We performed a high-resolution study of the uniparental genomes of 753 Roma and 984 non-Roma hosting European individuals. Roma groups show lower genetic diversity and high heterogeneity compared with non-Roma samples as a result of lower effective population size and extensive drift, consistent with a series of bottlenecks during their diaspora. We found a set of founder lineages, present in the Roma and virtually absent in the non-Roma, for the maternal (H7, J1b3, J1c1, M18, M35b, M5a1, U3, and X2d) and paternal (I-P259, J-M92, and J-M67) genomes. This lineage classification allows us to identify extensive gene flow from non-Roma to Roma groups, whereas the opposite pattern, although not negligible, is substantially lower (up to 6.3%). Finally, the exact haplotype matching analysis of both uniparental lineages consistently points to a Northwestern origin of the proto-Roma population within the Indian subcontinent.
Project description:Cochin Jews form a small and unique community on the Malabar coast in southwest India. While the arrival time of any putative Jewish ancestors of the community has been speculated to have taken place as far back as biblical times (King Solomon's era), a Jewish community in the Malabar coast has been documented only since the 9th century CE. Here, we explore the genetic history of Cochin Jews by collecting and genotyping 21 community members and combining the data with that of 707 individuals from 72 other Indian, Jewish, and Pakistani populations, together with additional individuals from worldwide populations. We applied comprehensive genome-wide analyses based on principal component analysis, F ST, ADMIXTURE, identity-by-descent sharing, admixture linkage disequilibrium decay, haplotype sharing, allele sharing autocorrelation decay and contrasting the X chromosome with the autosomes. We find that, as reported by several previous studies, the genetics of Cochin Jews resembles that of local Indian populations. However, we also identify considerable Jewish genetic ancestry that is not present in any other Indian or Pakistani populations (with the exception of the Jewish Bene Israel, which we characterized previously). Combined, Cochin Jews have both Jewish and Indian ancestry. Specifically, we detect a significant recent Jewish gene flow into this community 13-22 generations (~470-730 years) ago, with contributions from Yemenite, Sephardi, and Middle-Eastern Jews, in accordance with historical records. Genetic analyses also point to high endogamy and a recent population bottleneck in this population, which might explain the increased prevalence of some recessive diseases in Cochin Jews.
Project description:Two variants (c.[301_302delAG];[301_302delAG] and c.[150delA];[150delA]) in the PROP1 gene are the most common genetic causes of recessively inherited combined pituitary hormones deficiency (CPHD). Our objective was to analyze in detail the origin of the two most prevalent variants. In the multicentric study were included 237 patients with CPHD and their 15 relatives carrying c.[301_302delAG];[301_302delAG] or c.[150delA];[150delA] or c.[301_302delAG];[ 150delA]. They originated from 21 different countries worldwide. We genotyped 21 single-nucleotide variant markers flanking the 9.6-Mb region around the PROP1 gene that are not in mutual linkage disequilibrium in the general populations--a finding of a common haplotype would be indicative of ancestral origin of the variant. Haplotypes were reconstructed by Phase and Haploview software, and the variant age was estimated using an allelic association method. We demonstrated the ancestral origin of both variants--c.[301_302delAG] was carried on 0.2?Mb-long haplotype in a majority of European patients arising ~101 generations ago (confidence interval 90.1-116.4). Patients from the Iberian Peninsula displayed a different haplotype, which was estimated to have emerged 23.3 (20.1-29.1) generations ago. Subsequently, the data indicated that both the haplotypes were transmitted to Latin American patients ~13.8 (12.2-17.0) and 16.4 (14.4-20.1) generations ago, respectively. The c.[150delA] variant that was carried on a haplotype spanning about 0.3?Mb was estimated to appear 43.7 (38.4-52.7) generations ago. We present strong evidence that the most frequent variants in the PROP1 gene are not a consequence of variant hot spots as previously assumed, but are founder variants.
Project description:The Bene Israel Jewish community from West India is a unique population whose history before the 18th century remains largely unknown. Bene Israel members consider themselves as descendants of Jews, yet the identity of Jewish ancestors and their arrival time to India are unknown, with speculations on arrival time varying between the 8th century BCE and the 6th century CE. Here, we characterize the genetic history of Bene Israel by collecting and genotyping 18 Bene Israel individuals. Combining with 486 individuals from 41 other Jewish, Indian and Pakistani populations, and additional individuals from worldwide populations, we conducted comprehensive genome-wide analyses based on FST, principal component analysis, ADMIXTURE, identity-by-descent sharing, admixture linkage disequilibrium decay, haplotype sharing and allele sharing autocorrelation decay, as well as contrasted patterns between the X chromosome and the autosomes. The genetics of Bene Israel individuals resemble local Indian populations, while at the same time constituting a clearly separated and unique population in India. They are unique among Indian and Pakistani populations we analyzed in sharing considerable genetic ancestry with other Jewish populations. Putting together the results from all analyses point to Bene Israel being an admixed population with both Jewish and Indian ancestry, with the genetic contribution of each of these ancestral populations being substantial. The admixture took place in the last millennium, about 19-33 generations ago. It involved Middle-Eastern Jews and was sex-biased, with more male Jewish and local female contribution. It was followed by a population bottleneck and high endogamy, which can lead to increased prevalence of recessive diseases in this population. This study provides an example of how genetic analysis advances our knowledge of human history in cases where other disciplines lack the relevant data to do so.