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The northern gene flow into southeastern East Asians inferred from genome-wide array genotyping

By Guanglin He, Yingxiang Li, Xing Zou, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Renkuan Tang, Peixin Wang, Jingya Bai, Xiaomin Yang, Zheng Wang, Jianxin Guo, Jinwen Chen, Jing Chen, Meiqing Yang, Jing Zhao, Jin Sun, Kongyang Zhu, Hao Ma, Rui Wang, Wenjiao Yang, Rong Hu, Lanhai Wei, Mengge Wang, Gang Chen, Chuan-Chao Wang

Posted 26 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.25.453681

The population history of Southeast China remains poorly understood due to the sparse sampling of present-day populations and far less modeling with ancient genomic data. We here newly reported genome-wide genotyping data from 207 present-day Han Chinese and Hmong-Mien-speaking She people from Fujian and Taiwan, southeast China. We co-analyzed with 66 early-Neolithic to Iron-Age ancient Fujian and Taiwan individuals obtained from literature to explore the genetic continuity and admixture based on the genetic variations of high-resolution time transect. We found the genetic differentiation between northern and southern East Asians defined by a north-south East Asian genetic cline and the studied southern East Asians were clustered in the southern end of this cline. We also found that southeastern coastal continental modern East Asians harbored the genetic differentiation with other southern Tai-Kadai, Hmong-Mien, Austronesian and Austroasiatic speakers, as well as geographically close Neolithic-to-Iron Age populations, but relatedly close to post-Neolithic Yellow River ancients, which suggested the influence of southward gene flow on the modern southern coastal gene pool. Besides, we also identified one new Hmong-Mien genetic cline in East Asia with the coastal Fujian She localizing at the intersection position between Hmong-Mien and Han clines in the principal component analysis. She people show stronger genetic affinity with southern East Asian indigenous populations with the main ancestry deriving from Hanben-related populations. The southeastern Han Chinese could be modeled with the primary ancestry deriving from the group related to the Yellow River Basin millet farmers and the remaining from groups related to southeastern ancient indigenous rice farmers, which was consistent with the northern China origin of modern southeastern Han Chinese and in line with the historically and archaeologically attested southward migrations of Han people and their ancestors. Interestingly, f4-statistics and three-way admixture model results showed both coastal ancient sources related to Austronesian speakers and inland ancient sources related to Austroasiatic speakers complexed the modern observed fine-scale genetic structure here. Our estimated north-south admixture time ranges based on the decay of the linkage disequilibrium spanned from the Bronze age to historic periods, suggesting the recent large-scale population migrations and subsequent admixture participated in the formation of modern Han in Southeast Asia.

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