We report on two of the oldest mitochondrial DNA clusters in existence with Jewish affiliation. Both are in haplogroup T2e1. Four unrelated individuals from the Mexico mtDNA project were found to have the control region mutations that characterize a Sephardic signature previously reported (motif 16114T-16192T within T2e). Full genomic sequencing found the identical coding region mutations as Sephardic individuals which provides genetic evidence for founders of Northern Mexico that were both female and Sephardic Jewish. This is in contrast to a more common finding of European male, but local female founders and additionally lends biological support to anecdotes and historical reports of Crypto-Jewish founding of the Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas regions of Mexico and influx to Southern Texas, USA. The haplotype is nested in an old tree with mutations at positions 2308 and 15499, presently of uncertain geographic origin. The second cluster, a Bulgarian Sephardic founding lineage (9181G within T2e) previously reported, was found here in a population of largely Americans of European descent, but only among Jewish individuals. The non-synonymous mutation in ATPase 6 was found among both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews from diverse regions of Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania. Full genomic sequencing found great coding region variability with several haplotypes and suggested a Near East origin at least 3000 years old. This predates the split between Jewish groups, but more recent admixture between Sephardim and Ashkenazim cannot be ruled out. Together the two Jewish-affiliated clusters account for all the genetic distance found in branch T2e1 and much of T2e. The findings suggest reexamination of the origins of mitochondrial DNA haplogroup T2e as Levantine or early back migration to the Near East. New subclades of T2e are identified.
- Bedford, F.L., Yacobi, D., Felix, G. and Garza, F.M. (2013). Clarifying mitochondrial DNA subclades of T2e from Mideast to Mexico. Journal of Phylogenetics & Evolutionary Biology, -, -.
Peoples: Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic Jews | Places: | Topics: | DNA Type: mtDNA