A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals

Marina Silva, Marisa Oliveira, Daniel Vieira, Andreia Brandão, Teresa Rito, Joana B. Pereira, Ross M. Fraser, Bob Hudson, Francesca Gandini, Ceiridwen Edwards, Maria Pala, John Koch, James F. Wilson, Luísa Pereira, Martin B. Richards, Pedro Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: India is a patchwork of tribal and non-tribal populations that speak many different languages from various language families. Indo-European, spoken across northern and central India, and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been frequently connected to the so-called "Indo-Aryan invasions" from Central Asia ~3.5 ka and the establishment of the caste system, but the extent of immigration at this time remains extremely controversial. South India, on the other hand, is dominated by Dravidian languages. India displays a high level of endogamy due to its strict social boundaries, and high genetic drift as a result of long-term isolation which, together with a very complex history, makes the genetic study of Indian populations challenging.

RESULTS: We have combined a detailed, high-resolution mitogenome analysis with summaries of autosomal data and Y-chromosome lineages to establish a settlement chronology for the Indian Subcontinent. Maternal lineages document the earliest settlement ~55-65 ka (thousand years ago), and major population shifts in the later Pleistocene that explain previous dating discrepancies and neutrality violation. Whilst current genome-wide analyses conflate all dispersals from Southwest and Central Asia, we were able to tease out from the mitogenome data distinct dispersal episodes dating from between the Last Glacial Maximum to the Bronze Age. Moreover, we found an extremely marked sex bias by comparing the different genetic systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal lineages primarily reflect earlier, pre-Holocene processes, and paternal lineages predominantly episodes within the last 10 ka. In particular, genetic influx from Central Asia in the Bronze Age was strongly male-driven, consistent with the patriarchal, patrilocal and patrilineal social structure attributed to the inferred pastoralist early Indo-European society. This was part of a much wider process of Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region, which carried closely related Y-chromosome lineages, a smaller fraction of autosomal genome-wide variation and an even smaller fraction of mitogenomes across a vast swathe of Eurasia between 5 and 3.5 ka.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2017

Fingerprint

chronology
Central Asia
Bronze Age
maternal lineage
India
gender
chromosome
Y chromosome
caste system
genome
genetic drift
social structure
Last Glacial Maximum
immigration
Eurasia
paternity
Bangladesh
Holocene
Pleistocene
Pakistan

Cite this

Silva, M., Oliveira, M., Vieira, D., Brandão, A., Rito, T., Pereira, J. B., ... Soares, P. (2017). A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-017-0936-9
Silva, Marina ; Oliveira, Marisa ; Vieira, Daniel ; Brandão, Andreia ; Rito, Teresa ; Pereira, Joana B. ; Fraser, Ross M. ; Hudson, Bob ; Gandini, Francesca ; Edwards, Ceiridwen ; Pala, Maria ; Koch, John ; Wilson, James F. ; Pereira, Luísa ; Richards, Martin B. ; Soares, Pedro. / A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals. In: BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 17, No. 1. pp. 1-18.
@article{a212929a779c4f4ab78a96f1e12878d2,
title = "A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: India is a patchwork of tribal and non-tribal populations that speak many different languages from various language families. Indo-European, spoken across northern and central India, and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been frequently connected to the so-called {"}Indo-Aryan invasions{"} from Central Asia ~3.5 ka and the establishment of the caste system, but the extent of immigration at this time remains extremely controversial. South India, on the other hand, is dominated by Dravidian languages. India displays a high level of endogamy due to its strict social boundaries, and high genetic drift as a result of long-term isolation which, together with a very complex history, makes the genetic study of Indian populations challenging.RESULTS: We have combined a detailed, high-resolution mitogenome analysis with summaries of autosomal data and Y-chromosome lineages to establish a settlement chronology for the Indian Subcontinent. Maternal lineages document the earliest settlement ~55-65 ka (thousand years ago), and major population shifts in the later Pleistocene that explain previous dating discrepancies and neutrality violation. Whilst current genome-wide analyses conflate all dispersals from Southwest and Central Asia, we were able to tease out from the mitogenome data distinct dispersal episodes dating from between the Last Glacial Maximum to the Bronze Age. Moreover, we found an extremely marked sex bias by comparing the different genetic systems.CONCLUSIONS: Maternal lineages primarily reflect earlier, pre-Holocene processes, and paternal lineages predominantly episodes within the last 10 ka. In particular, genetic influx from Central Asia in the Bronze Age was strongly male-driven, consistent with the patriarchal, patrilocal and patrilineal social structure attributed to the inferred pastoralist early Indo-European society. This was part of a much wider process of Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region, which carried closely related Y-chromosome lineages, a smaller fraction of autosomal genome-wide variation and an even smaller fraction of mitogenomes across a vast swathe of Eurasia between 5 and 3.5 ka.",
keywords = "Genome-wide, Indian Subcontinent, Indo-European, Mitochondrial DNA, Neolithic, Y chromosome",
author = "Marina Silva and Marisa Oliveira and Daniel Vieira and Andreia Brand{\~a}o and Teresa Rito and Pereira, {Joana B.} and Fraser, {Ross M.} and Bob Hudson and Francesca Gandini and Ceiridwen Edwards and Maria Pala and John Koch and Wilson, {James F.} and Lu{\'i}sa Pereira and Richards, {Martin B.} and Pedro Soares",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1186/s12862-017-0936-9",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "1--18",
journal = "BMC Evolutionary Biology",
issn = "1471-2148",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

Silva, M, Oliveira, M, Vieira, D, Brandão, A, Rito, T, Pereira, JB, Fraser, RM, Hudson, B, Gandini, F, Edwards, C, Pala, M, Koch, J, Wilson, JF, Pereira, L, Richards, MB & Soares, P 2017, 'A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals', BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-017-0936-9

A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals. / Silva, Marina; Oliveira, Marisa; Vieira, Daniel; Brandão, Andreia; Rito, Teresa; Pereira, Joana B.; Fraser, Ross M.; Hudson, Bob; Gandini, Francesca; Edwards, Ceiridwen; Pala, Maria; Koch, John; Wilson, James F.; Pereira, Luísa; Richards, Martin B.; Soares, Pedro.

In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 23.03.2017, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals

AU - Silva, Marina

AU - Oliveira, Marisa

AU - Vieira, Daniel

AU - Brandão, Andreia

AU - Rito, Teresa

AU - Pereira, Joana B.

AU - Fraser, Ross M.

AU - Hudson, Bob

AU - Gandini, Francesca

AU - Edwards, Ceiridwen

AU - Pala, Maria

AU - Koch, John

AU - Wilson, James F.

AU - Pereira, Luísa

AU - Richards, Martin B.

AU - Soares, Pedro

PY - 2017/3/23

Y1 - 2017/3/23

N2 - BACKGROUND: India is a patchwork of tribal and non-tribal populations that speak many different languages from various language families. Indo-European, spoken across northern and central India, and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been frequently connected to the so-called "Indo-Aryan invasions" from Central Asia ~3.5 ka and the establishment of the caste system, but the extent of immigration at this time remains extremely controversial. South India, on the other hand, is dominated by Dravidian languages. India displays a high level of endogamy due to its strict social boundaries, and high genetic drift as a result of long-term isolation which, together with a very complex history, makes the genetic study of Indian populations challenging.RESULTS: We have combined a detailed, high-resolution mitogenome analysis with summaries of autosomal data and Y-chromosome lineages to establish a settlement chronology for the Indian Subcontinent. Maternal lineages document the earliest settlement ~55-65 ka (thousand years ago), and major population shifts in the later Pleistocene that explain previous dating discrepancies and neutrality violation. Whilst current genome-wide analyses conflate all dispersals from Southwest and Central Asia, we were able to tease out from the mitogenome data distinct dispersal episodes dating from between the Last Glacial Maximum to the Bronze Age. Moreover, we found an extremely marked sex bias by comparing the different genetic systems.CONCLUSIONS: Maternal lineages primarily reflect earlier, pre-Holocene processes, and paternal lineages predominantly episodes within the last 10 ka. In particular, genetic influx from Central Asia in the Bronze Age was strongly male-driven, consistent with the patriarchal, patrilocal and patrilineal social structure attributed to the inferred pastoralist early Indo-European society. This was part of a much wider process of Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region, which carried closely related Y-chromosome lineages, a smaller fraction of autosomal genome-wide variation and an even smaller fraction of mitogenomes across a vast swathe of Eurasia between 5 and 3.5 ka.

AB - BACKGROUND: India is a patchwork of tribal and non-tribal populations that speak many different languages from various language families. Indo-European, spoken across northern and central India, and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been frequently connected to the so-called "Indo-Aryan invasions" from Central Asia ~3.5 ka and the establishment of the caste system, but the extent of immigration at this time remains extremely controversial. South India, on the other hand, is dominated by Dravidian languages. India displays a high level of endogamy due to its strict social boundaries, and high genetic drift as a result of long-term isolation which, together with a very complex history, makes the genetic study of Indian populations challenging.RESULTS: We have combined a detailed, high-resolution mitogenome analysis with summaries of autosomal data and Y-chromosome lineages to establish a settlement chronology for the Indian Subcontinent. Maternal lineages document the earliest settlement ~55-65 ka (thousand years ago), and major population shifts in the later Pleistocene that explain previous dating discrepancies and neutrality violation. Whilst current genome-wide analyses conflate all dispersals from Southwest and Central Asia, we were able to tease out from the mitogenome data distinct dispersal episodes dating from between the Last Glacial Maximum to the Bronze Age. Moreover, we found an extremely marked sex bias by comparing the different genetic systems.CONCLUSIONS: Maternal lineages primarily reflect earlier, pre-Holocene processes, and paternal lineages predominantly episodes within the last 10 ka. In particular, genetic influx from Central Asia in the Bronze Age was strongly male-driven, consistent with the patriarchal, patrilocal and patrilineal social structure attributed to the inferred pastoralist early Indo-European society. This was part of a much wider process of Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region, which carried closely related Y-chromosome lineages, a smaller fraction of autosomal genome-wide variation and an even smaller fraction of mitogenomes across a vast swathe of Eurasia between 5 and 3.5 ka.

KW - Genome-wide

KW - Indian Subcontinent

KW - Indo-European

KW - Mitochondrial DNA

KW - Neolithic

KW - Y chromosome

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021859334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12862-017-0936-9

DO - 10.1186/s12862-017-0936-9

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 1

EP - 18

JO - BMC Evolutionary Biology

JF - BMC Evolutionary Biology

SN - 1471-2148

IS - 1

ER -