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Correlation between the linguistic affinity and genetic diversity of Chinese ethnic groups.

Authors
  • Sun, Hao
  • Zhou, Chi
  • Huang, Xiaoqin
  • Liu, Shuyuan
  • Lin, Keqin
  • Yu, Liang
  • Huang, Kai
  • Chu, Jiayou
  • Yang, Zhaoqing
Type
Published Article
Journal
Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
September 2013
Volume
58
Issue
10
Pages
686–693
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/jhg.2013.79
PMID: 23903074
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

As the world's most populous nation, China exhibits a population with 56 nationalities. We already know the associations between genetic relationship of these ethnic groups in China and their geographic distributions are closely. However, the correlations between genetic diversity and linguistic affinities have still not been fully revealed in China. To investigate these correlations, 31 populations and 1527 samples were chosen, and the languages of this population covered all of the languages spoken in mainland China (including 8 main linguistic families and 16 subfamilies). The genetic polymorphisms of the populations were investigated using 10 autosomal microsatellites. Five ethnic groups, which included 234 samples, were genotyped in this survey, and the data collected from the other 26 populations were obtained from our previous study. An analysis of molecular variance, principal coordinate analysis, clustering analysis using the STRUCTURE and the Mantel test were used to investigate the correlations between genetic diversity and linguistic affinity. These analyses indicated that most populations who speak the same language demonstrate a similar genetic composition, although a few populations deviated from this linkage between genetics and language. The demographic histories of these populations who deviated from this linkage were investigated. Obvious reasons for why evolutionary processes of genetics and linguistics separated in these populations included geographic isolation, gene replacement, language replacement and intermarriage. Thus, we proposed that the consistency of genetic and linguistic evolution is still present in most populations in China; however, this consistency can be broken by many factors, such as isolation, language replacement or intermarriage.

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