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The genetic legacy of continental scale admixture in Indian Austroasiatic speakers

By Kai Tätte, Luca Pagani, Ajai K. Pathak, Sulev Kõks, Binh Ho Duy, Xuan Dung Ho, Gazi Nurun Nahar Sultana, Mohd Istiaq Sharif, Md Asaduzzaman, Doron M Behar, Yarin Hadid, Richard Villems, Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Toomas Kivisild, Mait Metspalu

Posted 21 Sep 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/423004 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40399-8)

Surrounded by speakers of Indo-European, Dravidian and Tibeto-Burman languages, around 11 million Munda (a branch of Austroasiatic language family) speakers live in the densely populated and genetically diverse South Asia. Their genetic makeup holds components characteristic of South Asians as well as Southeast Asians. The admixture time between these components has been previously estimated on the basis of archaeology, linguistics and uniparental markers. Using genome-wide genotype data of 102 Munda speakers and contextual data from South and Southeast Asia, we retrieved admixture dates between 2000 - 3800 years ago for different populations of Munda. The best modern proxies for the source populations for the admixture with proportions 0.78/0.22 are Lao people from Laos and Dravidian speakers from Kerala in India, while the South Asian population(s), with whom the incoming Southeast Asians intermixed, had a smaller proportion of West Eurasian component than contemporary proxies. Somewhat surprisingly Malaysian Peninsular tribes rather than the geographically closer Austroasiatic languages speakers like Vietnamese and Cambodians show highest sharing of IBD segments with the Munda. In addition, we affirmed that the grouping of the Munda speakers into North and South Munda based on linguistics is in concordance with genome-wide data.

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