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Am J Phys Anthropol. 1999 Sep;110(1):1-16.

Analysis of five Y-specific microsatellite loci in Asian and Pacific populations.

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Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.


We have analyzed five Y-specific microsatellite loci (DYS388, DYS390, DYS391, DYS394, DYS395) in 17 Asian and Pacific populations representing a broad geographical area and different linguistic families, with an emphasis on populations from mainland and insular Southeast Asia. Analysis of gene diversity indicates that several of the studied populations have experienced substantial genetic isolation, and a reduction in male effective sizes (viz. the Northeast Indian populations Nishi, Adi and the Taiwanese aboriginals). The average values of the F(ST) and ((ST) statistics indicate a high degree of genetic differentiation among these populations at the five Y-specific markers (F(ST) =0.21 and ((ST) = 0.33, based on individual loci; F(ST) = 0.09 and ((ST) = 0.36, based on haplotypes), which conform to the expectation of a fourfold smaller effective size of the Y-linked loci compared with the autosomal loci. Dendrogram and principal coordinates analysis, with few exceptions, show a major separation between mainland and insular populations. Among the mainland populations, the Tibeto-Burman speakers from Northeast India cluster in a well-defined group, supported by high bootstrap values. The Southern Chinese, Northern Thai, So, and Cambodian also are integral to this cluster. The other major cluster is rather heterogeneous and includes, among others, the Austronesian-speaking populations. The Samoans of the Pacific, with a distinctive pattern of allelic distributions, stand as an outlier in the tree and PC representations. Although trends of genetic affinities among ethnically and geographically related populations are evident from the Y-specific microsatellite data, microsatellites are not optimal for deciphering complex migratory patterns of human populations, which could possibly be clarified by using additional and more stable genetic markers.

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