Jammu and Kashmir Gujjars, similar Pashtun genes: study

HYDERABAD: In a recent study, the Center for diagnosis and DNA fingerprinting (CDFD) in the city found that the region's gujjars have a close affinity with the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and the Sindhis of Pakistan rather than with Ladakhis

Gujjars and Ladakhis are genetically distant from each other, he said. Gujjars had shown affinity with the nomadic groups of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as with the Sindhis of Pakistan. The researchers used multiple sets of DNA-based markers to conduct the studies.

The research was conducted by CDFD scientists: Nandineni Madhusudan Reddy, Mugdha Singh, Anujit Sarkar and Devinder Kumar.

The research work also revealed that the genetic diversity studies of Gujjars and Ladakhis had clearly established that both are genetically distant from each other and with other populations in India.

Due to its geographical location, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are believed to have been corridors for the migration of ancient humans between the mainland of the Indian subcontinent and the rest of the world.

The researchers said that the genetic findings in the populations in the two territories of the Union were significant, anthropologically and demographically, as they may have shaped the diversity of the human population.

Interestingly, the & chromosomal analysis has shown a closer affinity of Gujjars with other nomadic populations of Pashtuns of the Baghlan and Kunduz provinces of Afghanistan and Pashtuns and Sindhis of Pakistan. The Gujjar also exhibited less genetic diversity compared to the Ladakhi population, the researchers said.

It was discovered that Ladakhis samples were closely associated with the Chinese (Uyghur and Han) and Nepalese (Magar) populations.

The researchers also said it was due to its geographical proximity and past demographic events.

The study was published in Nature, a multidisciplinary scientific journal.