Ethnic communities in Israel: The genetic blood markers of the Babylonian Jews

Batsheva Bonné‐Tamir*, Sarah Ashbel, Shulamit Bar‐Shani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One hundred eighty‐eight Jewish individuals who either they or whose both parents were born in Iraq were typed for 7 blood groups (ABO, MNS, Rh, Kell, Duffy, P and Kidd), 12 red cell enzyme systems and 2 serum proteins. Iraqi Jews are characterized by a high frequency of A (in ABO), N (in MNS), low cde (Rh) and low Hp‐1. Several rare electrophoretic variants were encountered: PGM1 6‐1, PHI 3‐1 and PHI 2‐1, and an unidentified AK phenotype. No evidence of Negroid admixture was found in their gene pool. Comparisons with results previously obtained in Iraqi Jews show general similarities in frequencies while comparisons with neighboring non‐Jewish populations suggest divergence in most systems investigated. The difficulties of assessing relationships on the basis of a few selected differences and the need for careful interpretations of similarities are emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1978


  • Babylonian Jews
  • Blood groups
  • Genetic markers
  • Isozyme variants


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