Gujarati Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries

by Kevin Alan Brook

Family Tree DNA - Genetic testing service
Family Tree DNA: Genetic Testing Service
The database contains some people with roots in India and Pakistan, including Gujaratis, Punjabis, Pashtuns/Pathans, Sindhis, and more. See whether you match with them or members of other ethnic groups of Asia. Gujaratis constitute the "South Asian" reference sample in Family Tree DNA's autosomal DNA test's MyOrigins ethnicity estimator. Gujaratis who have tested their Y-DNA and/or mtDNA lines are eligible to join their "Indian subcontinent DNA Project".

Most Gujarati people in India live in the state of Gujarat in the northwest. Gujarati, one of the official languages of India, is part of the Indo-Aryan language family and is written with the Gujarati script. Their genetics have some commonalities with other ethnic groups from India but also differences.

The International HapMap Project includes Gujarati samples. When Zack of the Harappa Ancestry Project processed those samples, he found that between 64 and 89 percent of Gujarati autosomal DNA originated in South Asia, between 2 and 22 percent from Europe, between 0 and 13 percent from West Asia, between 1 and 6 percent from Austronesia, between 0 and 9 percent from Southeast Asia, between 0 and 3 percent from Northeast Asia, and between 0 and 1 percent from West Africa. On average, Gujaratis have 81.9% South Asian ancestry, 7.6% European ancestry, 4.9% Southeast Asian ancestry, 2.8% Austronesian ancestry, 2.3% West Asian ancestry, and 0.4% Northeast Asian ancestry, and most don't have any West African.

Some Gujarati men belong to the Y-DNA haplogroup R1a1, specifically R-L657 (the L657 subclade). Others belong to R-Y874 (the Y874 subclade of R1a1a1) that is also found among Telugu people from India and Sri Lanka.

Another common Y-DNA haplogroup among Gujarati men is J2b2 (J-M241). The SNP Y951 is found in Gujaratis and Punjabis.

The South Asian Y-DNA haplogroup C-M356 (C1b, previously called C5a, within which C-P92 is a subclade defined by the P92 mutation) is found among some Gujaratis.

The mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroup W is found among people of the northwestern Indian states of Gujarat, Punjab, and Kashmir more often than among people anywhere else in India. Vik Leva Patel, a Gujarati Patidar, wrote here that 23andMe assigned him to mtDNA haplogroup W6 and Y-DNA haplogroup C-Z5896.

The mtDNA haplogroup HV is found among at least one family of Gujarati Patels as well as Tamil Brahmins and others.

Major studies of Gujaratis

Lluís Quintana-Murci, Raphaëlle Chaix, R. Spencer Wells, Doron M. Behar, Hamid Sayar, Rosaria Scozzari, Chiara Rengo, Nadia Al-Zahery, Ornella Semino, A. Silvana Santachiara-Benerecetti, Alfredo Coppa, Qasim Ayub, Aisha Mohyuddin, Chris Tyler-Smith, S. Qasim Mehdi, Antonio Torroni, and Ken McElreavey. "Where West Meets East: The Complex mtDNA Landscape of the Southwest and Central Asian Corridor." American Journal of Human Genetics 74:5 (May 2004): pages 827-845.
      In a sample of 34 Gujaratis, 8.8% were found to belong to mtDNA haplogroup U2a, 8.8% to U7, 5.9% to U2b, 2.9% to U2c, 5.9% to H, 2.9% to J1, 8.8% to R*, and 8.8% to W.

Mait Metspalu, Toomas Kivisild, Ene Metspalu, Jüri Parik, Georgi Hudjashov, Katrin Kaldma, Piia Serk, Monika Karmin, Doron M. Behar, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Phillip Endicott, Sarabjit Mastana, Surinder S. Papiha, Karl Skorecki, Antonio Torroni, and Richard Villems. "Most of the extant mtDNA boundaries in South and Southwest Asia were likely shaped during the initial settlement of Eurasia by anatomically modern humans." BMC Genetics 5:26 (2004). First published online on August 31, 2004.
      796 genetic samples from ethnic groups all across India were gathered and compared with previously obtained data from Indians. In the state of Gujarat, over 33% of all genetic markers of the population are of West Eurasian origin. In Gujarat, the mtDNA sub-haplogroup U7 is common, found in over 12% of the population, higher than in the Punjab state (9%), Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, or anywhere else. In other regions of India, U7 is only found in frequencies between 0% and 0.9%. Data support the conclusion that U7 first originated in Gujarat rather than West Asia or Central Asia. The article also discusses the existence of mtDNA haplogroups like M, M2, M3a, M4a, M6, R, and R5 in the population of Gujarat.

Suvendu Maji, S. Krithika, and T. S. Vasulu. "Distribution of mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup N in India with special reference to haplogroup R and its sub-haplogroup U." International Journal of Human Genetics 8: no. 1/2 (2008): page 85.
      This is a summary of the mtDNA haplogroups of peoples of India. Among other things, it discusses Gujarati samples gathered for Quintana-Murci's 2004 study and Metspalu's 2004 study.

Siiri Rootsi, Doron M. Behar, Mari Järve, Alice A. Lin, Natalie M. Myres, Ben Passarelli, G. David Poznik, Shay Tzur, Hovhannes Sahakyan, Ajai Kumar Pathak, Saharon Rosset, Mait Metspalu, Viola Grugni, Ornella Semino, Ene Metspalu, Carlos D. Bustamante, Karl Skorecki, Richard Villems, Toomas Kivisild, and Peter A. Underhill. "Phylogenetic applications of whole Y-chromosome sequences and the Near Eastern origin of Ashkenazi Levites." Nature Communications 4, article number 2928. Published online December 17, 2013.
      Two Gujarati men belonging to the Y-chromosomal haplogroup R1a who had their DNA sequenced by the Complete Genomics genotyping platform form part of this study. As shown on Supplementary Figure S1: Phylogeny of Y chromosome haplogroup R1 sequences, the Gujaratis' variety of R1a forms a different R1a branch than that with Ashkenazim (including Ashkenazic Levites), Iberians, and Assyrians and is also from the R1a branch with a Mumbai Jew and an Iraqi Jew, and has even less in common with branches that Iranians and Ukrainians belong to.

A. B. Spurdle and T. Jenkins. "The Inverted Y-Chromosome Polymorphism in the Gujarati Muslim Indian Population of South Africa Has a Single Origin." Human Heredity 42 (1992): pages 330-332.
      8 Gujarati Muslim men possessing a Y-chromosomal inversion had their p49a/TaqI and p49a/PvuII haplotypes compared with 9 normal Gujarati Muslim men. All the men with the inversion have the same TaqI and PvuII haplotypes.

R. Bernstein, A. Wadee, J. Rosendorff, A. Wessels, and T. Jenkins. Inverted Y chromosome polymorphism in the Gujerati Muslim Indian population of South Africa." Human Genetics 74:3 (November 1986): pages 223-229.
      The village of Kholvad, and neighboring villages, all in Gujarat, were where the ancestors of the Gujarati Muslim men with the Y-chromosomal inversion had lived. The inversion was perpetuated through the generations by endogamous marriages.

Aparna Iyer. "DNA variation that makes Gujaratis susceptible to vitiligo identified." The Times of India (December 5, 2014).
      A genetic study led by Rasheedunnisa Begum utilizing samples from over 1,500 vitiligo patients from the state of Gujarat identified a SNP variation in the autosomal DNA of some Gujaratis that makes them susceptible to suffer from the skin disorder vitiligo that causes some patches of skin to become depigmented. Over 8 percent of people in Gujarat have vitiligo.

  • Family Tree DNA Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. - This site is an affiliate

  • 23andMe: Genetic Testing for Ancestry - includes a "Gujarati Patidar" category
  • Ancestry's India Genealogy and Family History Resources

  • Flavorful India: Treasured Recipes from a Gujarati Family by Priti Chitnis Gress
  • India Guide: Gujarat by Anjali Desai
  • Learn Gujarati - books by S. K. Sharma, Kirat N. Shah, Ishwar Datt, Krishna Gopal Vikal, and other authors
  • Experience Gujarat By Anil M. Mulchandani
  • Handloom and Handicrafts of Gujarat by Viloo Mirza and Vinutha Mallya
  • Gujarat, A Journey by Annie Zaidi

  • Genetics of Tamil People
  • Genetics of Jewish (Israelite) People