TITLE

Genetic structure of the Mon-Khmer speaking groups and their affinity to the neighbouring Tai populations in Northern Thailand

AUTHOR(S)
Kutanan, Wibhu; Kampuansai, Jatupol; Fuselli, Silvia; Nakbunlung, Supaporn; Seielstad, Mark; Bertorelle, Giorgio; Kangwanpong, Daoroong
PUB. DATE
January 2011
SOURCE
BMC Genetics;2011, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p56
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: The Mon-Khmer speaking peoples inhabited northern Thailand before the arrival of the Tai speaking people from southern China in the thirteenth century A.D. Historical and anthropological evidence suggests a close relationship between the Mon-Khmer groups and the present day majority northern Thai groups. In this study, mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA polymorphisms in more than 800 volunteers from eight Mon-Khmer and ten Tai speaking populations were investigated to estimate the degree of genetic divergence between these major linguistic groups and their internal structure. Results: A large fraction of genetic variation is observed within populations (about 80% and 90% for mtDNA and the Y-chromosome, respectively). The genetic divergence between populations is much higher in Mon-Khmer than in Tai speaking groups, especially at the paternally inherited markers. The two major linguistic groups are genetically distinct, but only for a marginal fraction (1 to 2%) of the total genetic variation. Genetic distances between populations correlate with their linguistic differences, whereas the geographic distance does not explain the genetic divergence pattern. Conclusions: The Mon-Khmer speaking populations in northern Thailand exhibited the genetic divergence among each other and also when compared to Tai speaking peoples. The different drift effects and the post-marital residence patterns between the two linguistic groups are the explanation for a small but significant fraction of the genetic variation pattern within and between them.
ACCESSION #
62608420

 

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