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Paternal Genetic Affinity Between Western Austronesians and Daic Populations


Paternal Genetic Affinity Between Western Austronesians and Daic Populations

Hui Li et al. BMC Evol Biol.


Background: Austronesian is a linguistic family spread in most areas of the Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Based on their linguistic similarity, this linguistic family included Malayo-Polynesians and Taiwan aborigines. The linguistic similarity also led to the controversial hypothesis that Taiwan is the homeland of all the Malayo-Polynesians, a hypothesis that has been debated by ethnologists, linguists, archaeologists, and geneticists. It is well accepted that the Eastern Austronesians (Micronesians and Polynesians) derived from the Western Austronesians (Island Southeast Asians and Taiwanese), and that the Daic populations on the mainland are supposed to be the headstream of all the Austronesian populations.

Results: In this report, we studied 20 SNPs and 7 STRs in the non-recombining region of the 1,509 Y chromosomes from 30 China Daic populations, 23 Indonesian and Vietnam Malayo-Polynesian populations, and 11 Taiwan aboriginal populations. These three groups show many resemblances in paternal lineages. Admixture analyses demonstrated that the Daic populations are hardly influenced by Han Chinese genetically, and that they make up the largest proportion of Indonesians. Most of the population samples contain a high frequency of haplogroup O1a-M119, which is nearly absent in other ethnic families. The STR network of haplogroup O1a* illustrated that Indonesian lineages did not derive from Taiwan aborigines as linguistic studies suggest, but from Daic populations.

Conclusion: We show that, in contrast to the Taiwan homeland hypothesis, the Island Southeast Asians do not have a Taiwan origin based on their paternal lineages. Furthermore, we show that both Taiwan aborigines and Indonesians likely derived from the Daic populations based on their paternal lineages. These two populations seem to have evolved independently of each other. Our results indicate that a super-phylum, which includes Taiwan aborigines, Daic, and Malayo-Polynesians, is genetically educible.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Geographic distribution of sampled populations and migration routes suggested by Y chromosome analysis. The codes for the population samples are the same as those in Table 1. Green arrows indicate expansion of Daic; blue arrows, Taiwanese; orange arrows, ISEA. The origin of Polynesians, purple arrows, remains controversial in paternal lineages.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Principal component plot of Y-SNP. (A) PC plot of all the population samples. DC (green stars) is closest to MP (purple crosses) and TA (blue crosses). All of the other groups including ST, HM, AA, and AT (red spots including triangles, squares and diamonds) are rather far removed from MP and TA, which indicates that DC is the only group that might be related to MP and TA. (B) PC plots of pooled samples. The ST, HM, AA, and AT samples were pooled according to the linguistic families. The DC samples were pooled according to the sub-families. MP and TA samples were pooled according to the geographic locations. Ethnic groups: AA, Austro-Asiatic speakers; AT, Altaic speakers; DC, Daic speakers; HM, Hmong-Mien speakers; MP, Malayo-Polynesian speakers; ST, Sino-Tibetan speakers; TA, Taiwan aborigines.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Haplotype network of Y-STRs of Haplogroup O1a* individuals. As the original network was too complicated to display, here we presented the shortest tree of the largest possibility reduced from the network (this function is available in the recent versions of NETWORK program). Each node represents an O1a* STR haplotype. The lengths of the lines are proportional to the mutation steps. The broken line stands for only one step. The sizes of the nodes are proportional to their frequencies. Almost none of the ISEA haplotypes is directly linked to Taiwan aborigines, and both ISEA and Taiwanese are linked directly or indirectly to the Daic haplotypes holding the centre of the network (big green node).

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