The role of the Vlax Roma in shaping the European Romani maternal genetic history

Peričić Salihović, Marijana and Barešić, Ana and Martinović Klarić, Irena and Cukrov, Slavena and Barać Lauc, Lovorka and Janićijević, Branka (2011) The role of the Vlax Roma in shaping the European Romani maternal genetic history. American journal of physical anthropology, 146 (2). pp. 262-270. ISSN 0002-9483

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The Roma are comprised of many founder groups of common Indian origins but different socio-cultural characteristics. The Vlax Roma are one of the founder Roma populations characterized by a period of bondage in the historic Romanian principalities, and by the archaic Romanian language. Demographic history suggests different migration routes of Roma populations, especially after their arrival in Mesopotamia and the eastern boundary of the Byzantine Empire. Although various genetic studies of uniparental genetic markers showed a connection between Roma genetic legacy and their migration routes, precise sampling of Roma populations elucidates this relationship in more detail. In this study, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA of 384 Croatian Vlax Roma from two geographic locations in the context of 734 European Roma samples. Our results show that Roma migration routes are marked with two Near-Eastern haplogroups, X2 and U3, whose inverse proportional incidence clearly separates the Balkan and the Vlax Roma from other Roma populations that reached Europe as part of the first migration wave. Spatial and temporal characteristics of these haplogroups indicate a possibility of their admixture with Roma populations before arrival in Europe. Distribution of haplogroup M35 indicates that all Vlax Roma populations descend from one single founder population that might even reach back to the original ancestral Indian population. Founder effects followed by strict endogamy rules can be traced from India to contemporary small, local communities, as in the case of two Croatian Vlax Roma populations that show clear population differentiation despite similar origins and shared demographic history.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Language: English.
Uncontrolled Keywords: mtDNA haplogroups, Roma, Vlax Roma
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Depositing User: Karolina Vranješ
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 10:13
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2015 10:13

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