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Yi Chuan Xue Bao. 2003 Sep;30(9):873-80.

[Origin of Hakka and Hakkanese: a genetics analysis].

[Article in Chinese]

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Center for Anthropological Studies at Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China.


Hakka is a distinctive Han Chinese population in Southern China speaking Hakkanese. The origin of Hakka has been controversial. In this report, we analyzed Y chromosomal markers in 148 Hakka males. Principle component analysis of Y-SNP haplotype distribution shows Hakka is clusteed strongly with the Han in Northern China, and is also close to She, a Hmong-Mien-speaking population, while the general Southern Han is fairly close to Daic populations. Admixture analysis revealed that the relative genetic contribution 80.2% (Han), 13% (She) and 6.8% (Kam) in Hakka. The network of Y-STR haplotype of M7 individuals in all concerned populations suggested two possible origins of Hmong-Mien contribution in Hakka: One is from Hubei and the other is from Canton. The Kam contribution in Hakka is likely from Kan-Yue, the ancient aborigine of Kiangsi (Jiangxi). The frequency of 9bp-deletion in Region V of mitochondrial DNA of Hakka is 19.7%, which is quite close to She but far from Han. We therefore concluded that genetically the majority of Hakka gene pool shall come from North Han with She contributing the most among all non-Han groups. Regarding the Hmong-Mien character of Hakkanese, the genetic structure of Hakka shows their core may be Kim-man, the ancient Hmong-Mien. We hypothesized that a great number of Han people from North China join this population in succession. Southern Chinese dialects, such as Hakkanese may also be those languages of Southern aborigines at first, and turn to extant appearance under the continuance effect of Northern Chinese.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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