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Mol Biol Evol. 1993 Sep;10(5):927-43.

Evolutionary relationships of human populations on a global scale.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802-5303.

Abstract

Using gene frequency data for 29 polymorphic loci (121 alleles), we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of 26 representative populations from around the world by using the neighbor-joining (NJ) method. We also conducted a separate analysis of 15 populations by using data for 33 polymorphic loci. These analyses have shown that the first major split of the phylogenetic tree separates Africans from non-Africans and that this split occurs with a 100% bootstrap probability. The second split separates Caucasian populations from all other non-African populations, and this split is also supported by bootstrap tests. The third major split occurs between Native American populations and the Greater Asians that include East Asians (mongoloids), Pacific Islanders, and Australopapuans (native Australians and Papua New Guineans), but Australopapuans are genetically quite different from the rest of the Greater Asians. The second and third levels of population splitting are quite different from those of the phylogenetic tree obtained by Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1988), where Caucasians, Northeast Asians, and Ameridians from the Northeurasian supercluster and the rest of non-Africans form the Southeast Asian supercluster. One of the major factors that caused the difference between the two trees is that Cavalli-Sforza et al. used unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) in phylogenetic inference, whereas we used the NJ method in which evolutionary rate is allowed to vary among different populations. Bootstrap tests have shown that the UPGMA tree receives poor statistical support whereas the NJ tree is well supported. Implications that the phylogenetic tree obtained has on the current controversy over the out-of-Africa and the multiregional theories of human origins are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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