“Ethiopian Jews are an ancient community that had relatively few, if any, Jewish founders from elsewhere…”
Ethiopian Jews fell outside of the main three Jewish genetic clusters with the highest average genetic differentiation compared with all other Jewish groups (FST = 0.047). They were most closely related to non-Jewish Libyans and South Moroccans (FST = 0.019) and then to the other North African and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations. Their closest (yet still quite distant) Jewish neighbors were Yemenite Jews (FST = 0.038). Likewise, they showed little IBD sharing with other Jewish populations (Fig. 3). By STRUCTURE analysis, their ancestry appeared to be of North African, Middle Eastern, and sub-Saharan origin with little European contribution (Fig. 4).
Despite forming a cluster on PCA and neighbor-joining tree that appeared intermediate to Jews and Middle Eastern non-Jews, the Yemenite Jews were genetically closest to Egyptians by FST (0.008), followed by Middle Eastern non-Jews, then Turkish and Greek Jews (FST = 0.010 and 0.012, respectively); however, their mean FST to all other Jewish populations was similar to that of all other Jewish populations with the exception of Ethiopian Jews (SI Appendix, Fig. S4). Their mean levels of IBD sharing with Jewish populations were comparable to the mean levels of IBD sharing of other Jewish populations, except Ethiopian Jews (SI Appendix, Fig. S4). By STRUCTURE analysis, their inferred ancestry was predominantly Middle Eastern and North African with little European contribution.