Population Genetic Structure in Indian Austroasiatic Speakers: The Role of Landscape Barriers and Sex-Specific Admixture

Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Mait Metspalu, Ying Choi, Reedik Mägi, Irene Gallego Romero, Pedro Soares, Mannis Van Oven, Doron M. Behar, Siiri Rootsi, Georgi Hudjashov, Chandana Basu Mallick, Monika Karmin, Mari Nelis, Jüri Parik, Alla Goverdhana Reddy, Ene Metspalu, George Van Driem, Yali Xue, Chris Tyler-Smith, Kumarasamy ThangarajLalji Singh, Maido Remm, Martin B. Richards, Marta Mirazon Lahr, Manfred Kayser, Richard Villems, Toomas Kivisild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The geographic origin and time of dispersal of Austroasiatic (AA) speakers, presently settled in south and southeast Asia, remains disputed. Two rival hypotheses, both assuming a demic component to the language dispersal, have been proposed. The first of these places the origin of Austroasiatic speakers in southeast Asia with a later dispersal to south Asia during the Neolithic, whereas the second hypothesis advocates pre-Neolithic origins and dispersal of this language family from south Asia. To test the two alternative models, this study combines the analysis of uniparentally inherited markers with 610,000 common single nucleotide polymorphism loci from the nuclear genome. Indian AA speakers have high frequencies of Y chromosome haplogroup O2a; our results show that this haplogroup has significantly higher diversity and coalescent time (17-28 thousand years ago) in southeast Asia, strongly supporting the first of the two hypotheses. Nevertheless, the results of principal component and "structure-like" analyses on autosomal loci also show that the population history of AA speakers in India is more complex, being characterized by two ancestral components - one represented in the pattern of Y chromosomal and EDAR results and the other by mitochondrial DNA diversity and genomic structure. We propose that AA speakers in India today are derived from dispersal from southeast Asia, followed by extensive sex-specific admixture with local Indian populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1024
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume28
Issue number2
Early online date26 Oct 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

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