Mapping human genetic diversity in Asia

Science. 2009 Dec 11;326(5959):1541-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1177074.


Asia harbors substantial cultural and linguistic diversity, but the geographic structure of genetic variation across the continent remains enigmatic. Here we report a large-scale survey of autosomal variation from a broad geographic sample of Asian human populations. Our results show that genetic ancestry is strongly correlated with linguistic affiliations as well as geography. Most populations show relatedness within ethnic/linguistic groups, despite prevalent gene flow among populations. More than 90% of East Asian (EA) haplotypes could be found in either Southeast Asian (SEA) or Central-South Asian (CSA) populations and show clinal structure with haplotype diversity decreasing from south to north. Furthermore, 50% of EA haplotypes were found in SEA only and 5% were found in CSA only, indicating that SEA was a major geographic source of EA populations.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Asia
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / history
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Emigration and Immigration* / history
  • Ethnic Groups / genetics*
  • Ethnic Groups / history
  • Gene Flow
  • Genotype
  • Geography
  • Haplotypes*
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Principal Component Analysis