The genetic affinities of Gujjar and Ladakhi populations of India

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Scientific Reports


The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh in North India owing to their unique geographic location offer a wide variety of landscape from plains to high altitudes and is a congruence of many languages and cultural practices. Here, we present the genetic diversity studies of Gujjars from Jammu region of J&K and Ladakhi population based on a battery of autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and short tandem repeats (STRs), Y-chromosomal STRs and the control region of the mitochondrial genome. These two populations were observed to be genetically distant to each other as well as to other populations from India. Interestingly, Y-STR analyses showed a closer affinity of Gujjars to other nomadic populations of Pashtuns from Baghlans and Kunduz provinces of Afghanistan and Pashtuns and Sindhis of Pakistan. Gujjars exhibited lesser genetic diversity as compared to Ladakhi population. M30f and M9 were the most abundant mitochondrial haplogroups observed among Gujjars and Ladakhis, respectively. A lower matrilineal to patrilineal diversity was observed for both these populations. The current study presents the first comprehensive analysis of Gujjars and Ladakhis and reveals their unique genetic affiliations with other populations of the world.



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