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Portuguese crypto-Jews: the genetic heritage of a complex history

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  • Portuguese crypto-Jews: the genetic heritage of a complex history

    Front Genet. 2015 Feb 2;6:12. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00012. eCollection 2015.
    Portuguese crypto-Jews: the genetic heritage of a complex history.
    Nogueiro I1, Teixeira JC2, Amorim A1, Gusmão L3, Alvarez L1.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25699075
    open access

    Abstract
    The first documents mentioning Jewish people in Iberia are from the Visigothic period. It was also in this period that the first documented anti-Judaic persecution took place. Other episodes of persecution would happen again and again during the long troubled history of the Jewish people in Iberia and culminated with the Decrees of Expulsion and the establishment of the Inquisition: some Jews converted to Catholicism while others resisted and were forcedly baptized, becoming the first Iberian Crypto-Jews. In the 18th century the official discrimination and persecution carried out by the Inquisition ended and several Jewish communities emerged in Portugal. From a populational genetics point of view, the worldwide Diaspora of contemporary Jewish communities has been intensely studied. Nevertheless, very little information is available concerning Sephardic and Iberian Crypto-Jewish descendants. Data from the Iberian Peninsula, the original geographic source of Sephardic Jews, is limited to two populations in Portugal, Belmonte, and Bragança district, and the Chueta community from Mallorca. Belmonte was the first Jewish community studied for uniparental markers. The construction of a reference model for the history of the Portuguese Jewish communities, in which the genetic and classical historical data interplay dynamically, is still ongoing. Recently an enlarged sample covering a wide region in the Northeast Portugal was undertaken, allowing the genetic profiling of male and female lineages. A Jewish specific shared female lineage (HV0b) was detected between the community of Belmonte and Bragança. In contrast to what was previously described as a hallmark of the Portuguese Jews, an unexpectedly high polymorphism of lineages was found in Bragança, showing a surprising resistance to the erosion of genetic diversity typical of small-sized isolate populations, as well as signs of admixture with the Portuguese host population.

  • #2
    Thanks for posting this.

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    • #3
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      • #4
        Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
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        Thanks

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