Genetic polymorphisms among Bukharan and Georgian Jews in Israel

C. Levene, A. G. Steinberg, Y. Friedlander, C. Brautbar, T. Cohen

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5 Scopus citations


Bukharan and Georgian Jews have lived in central Asia for many centuries. Approximately 30,000 Bukharan and 37,000 Georgian Jews lived in their respective countries within the USSR between 1920 and 1960. Genetic markers of blood - blood groups, isoenzymes, HLA antigens, and gamma and kappa chain allotypes - were tested in blood samples from 113 Bukharan and 134 Georgian Jews living in Israel. Estimates of inbreeding were low: α = 0.0088 for Bukharan and α = 0.0011 for Georgian Jews. G6PD deficiency was relatively rare in Bukharan (2.2%) and in Georgian Jews (6.0%), when compared to other Jews in the area. Both populations showed frequencies of some markers similar to that of other Jewish populations, but frequencies of some markers were extremely high or low. Bukharan Jews showed very high frequencies of B(0.243), cDe (0.122), Jk(A) (0.705), HLA-A29 (0.167), A30 (0.116) and B7 (0.124), and AcO(A) (0.451) and very low ones of O(0.518), CDe(0.422), AcP(B) (0.513) and GLO1 (0.140). Very high frequencies in Georgian Jews were observed for cDE (0.189), HLA-A3 (0.194), Bw35 (0.300) and GLO1 (0.367). Yet the greatest difference between both populations was in African characters. While in Bukharan Jews Fy was very frequent (0.146) and cDe was the highest observed among Jews (0.122), neither of these markers was detected among the Georgian Jews test. Yet, another African character, the Gm(1,5,10,11,13,14,17,26) haplotype, occurred in both populations (0.028 and 0.042 in Bukharan and Georgian Jews, respectively). Distance measures for Bukharan, Georgian, Iranian, Cochin, and Libyan Jews based on 13 polymorphic loci showed the greatest distance between Cochin Jews and the other populations and the smallest distance between the Georgian and Iranian Jews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-641
Number of pages19
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1984
Externally publishedYes


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