• migration history;
  • mtDNA haplogroup;
  • genetic structure;
  • Tarim Basin


The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms of 58 samples from the Daheyan village located in the central Taklamakan Desert of the Tarim Basin were determined in this study. Among the 58 samples, 29 haplotypes belonging to 18 different haplogroups were analyzed. Almost all the mtDNAs belong to a subset of either the defined Western or Eastern Eurasian pool. Extensive Eastern Eurasian lineages exist in the Daheyan population in which Northern-prevalent haplogroups present higher frequencies. In the limited existing Western Eurasian lineages, two sub-haplogroups, U3 and X2, that are rare in Central Asia were found in this study, which may be indicative of the remnants of an early immigrant population from the Near East and Caucasus regions preserved only in the Tarim Basin. The presence of U3 in modern and archeological samples in the Tarim Basin suggests that the immigration took place earlier than 2,000 years ago and points to human continuity in this area, with at least one Western lineage originating from the Near East and Caucasus regions. Am J Phys Anthropol 142:558–564, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.