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Genetic Affinity between the Armenian Yezidis and the Iraqi Kurds

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

The Yezidi community in Armenia has been formed during last two-three centuries as a consequence of several waves of migration. Due to the esoteric character of the community, the Yezidis have been reproductively isolated from neighbouring populations for centuries, which has left significant traces in their genetic structure. Our results based on the analysis of patrilineal genetic lineages demonstrate that the long-term isolation of the Yezidis has resulted in notable reduction of male sex chromosome variability compared to other populations and significant difference from the Kurds living in Iraq. However, the analysis of specific lineages provides evidence on similar genetic traits between the Armenian Yezidis and the Iraqi Kurds.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Molecular Biology, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Arya International University, Yerevan


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