Contrasting Linguistic and Genetic Origins of the Asian Source Populations of Malagasy.

Sci Rep 2016 05 18;6:26066. Epub 2016 May 18.

Evolutionary Medicine Group, Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse UMR-5288, Université de Toulouse, Toulouse, France.

The Austronesian expansion, one of the last major human migrations, influenced regions as distant as tropical Asia, Remote Oceania and Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa. The identity of the Asian groups that settled Madagascar is particularly mysterious. While language connects Madagascar to the Ma'anyan of southern Borneo, haploid genetic data are more ambiguous. Here, we screened genome-wide diversity in 211 individuals from the Ma'anyan and surrounding groups in southern Borneo. Surprisingly, the Ma'anyan are characterized by a distinct, high frequency genomic component that is not found in Malagasy. This novel genetic layer occurs at low levels across Island Southeast Asia and hints at a more complex model for the Austronesian expansion in this region. In contrast, Malagasy show genomic links to a range of Island Southeast Asian groups, particularly from southern Borneo, but do not have a clear genetic connection with the Ma'anyan despite the obvious linguistic association.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep26066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4870696PMC
May 2016
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