The peopling of Lakshadweep Archipelago

Sci Rep. 2019 May 6;9(1):6968. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43384-3.


The archipelago of Lakshadweep is considered as a stopover to the maritime route since ancient time. It is not very clear when the human first occupied these islands, however in the long history of the islands, the local legends suggest that Lakshadweep has been ruled by different kingdoms. To have a better understanding of peopling of Lakshadweep, we have analysed 557 individuals from eight major islands for mitochondrial DNA and 166 individuals for Y chromosome markers. We found a strong founder effect for both paternal and maternal lineages. Moreover, we report a close genetic link of Lakshadweep islanders with the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. Most of the Lakshadweep islands share the haplogroups specific to South Asia and West Eurasia, except Minicoy Island that also shares haplogroups of East Eurasia. The paternal and maternal ancestries of the majority of island populations suggest their arrival from distinct sources. We found that the maternal ancestry was closer to South Indian populations, whereas the paternal ancestry was overwhelmed with the haplogroups, more common in the Maldives and North of India. In conclusion, our first genetic data suggest that the majority of human ancestry in Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / analysis*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Ethnic Groups / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Haplotypes*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Islands
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Genetic Markers