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autosomal DNA markers among tribal populations of southern India

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发表于 2010-1-17 19:18 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Genetic structure and affinities among tribal populations of southern India: a study of 24 autosomal DNA markers

We describe the genetic structure and affinities of five Dravidian-speaking tribal populations inhabiting the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu, in south India, using 24 autosomal DNA markers. Our goals were: (i). to examine what evolutionary forces have most significantly impacted south Indian tribal genetic variation, and (ii). to test whether the phenotypic similarities of some south Indian tribal groups to Africans represent a signature of close relationship to Africans or are due to convergence. All loci were polymorphic and average heterozygosities were substantial (range: 0.347-0.423). Genetic differentiation was high (Gst= 6.7%) and genetic distances were not significantly correlated with geographic distances. Genetic drift therefore probably played a significant role in shaping the patterns of genetic variation observed in southern Indian tribal populations. Otherwise, analyses of population relationships showed that Indian populations are closely related to one another, regardless of phenotypic characteristics, and do not show particular affinities to Africans. We conclude that the phenotypic similarities of some Indian groups to Africans do not reflect a close relationship between these groups, but are better explained by convergence.

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