A mitochondrial revelation of early human migrations to the Tibetan Plateau before and after the last glacial maximum

Authors

  • Zhendong Qin,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Yajun Yang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. China Medical City Institute of Health Sciences, Taizhou, Jiangsu 225300, China
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  • Longli Kang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. Department of Medicine, Tibet Nationality College, Xianyang, Shaanxi 712082, China
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  • Shi Yan,

    1. Chinese Academy of Sciences and Max Planck Society Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
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  • Kelly Cho,

    1. Department of Genetics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520
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  • Xiaoyun Cai,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Yan Lu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Hongxiang Zheng,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Dongchen Zhu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Dongmei Fei,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Shilin Li,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Li Jin,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. China Medical City Institute of Health Sciences, Taizhou, Jiangsu 225300, China
    3. Chinese Academy of Sciences and Max Planck Society Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
    • School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • Hui Li

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    • School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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  • The Genographic Consortium includes: Janet S. Ziegle (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, California, United States); Pandikumar Swamikrishnan (IBM, Somers, New York, United States); Asif Javed, Laxmi Parida, Daniel E. Platt, and Ajay K. Royyuru (IBM, Yorktown Heights, New York, United States); Lluis Quintana-Murci (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France); R. John Mitchell (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia); Danielle A. Badro, Marc Haber, and Pierre A. Zalloua (Lebanese American University, Chouran, Beirut, Lebanon); Syama Adhikarla, Arun Kumar Ganesh Prasad, Ramasamy Pitchappan, Kavitha Valampuri John, and Arun Varatharajan Santhakumari (Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India); Christoff J. Erasmus, Angela Hobbs, and Himla Soodyall (National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa); Elena Balanovska and Oleg Balanovsky (Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia); Chris Tyler-Smith (The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom); Daniela R. Lacerda and Fabrício R. Santos (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil); Pedro Paulo Vieira (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Jaume Bertranpetit, David Comas, Begoña Martínez-Cruz, and Marta Melé (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain); Christina J. Adler, Alan Cooper, Clio S. I. Der Sarkissian, and Wolfgang Haak (University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia); Matthew E. Kaplan and Nirav C. Merchant (University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States); Colin Renfrew (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom); Andrew C. Clarke and Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith (University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand); Matthew C. Dulik, Jill B. Gaieski, Amanda C. Owings, and Theodore G. Schurr (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States); David F. Soria Hernanz and R. Spencer Wells (National Geographic Society, Washington, District of Columbia, United States).

Abstract

As the highest plateau surrounded by towering mountain ranges, the Tibetan Plateau was once considered to be one of the last populated areas of modern humans. However, this view has been tremendously changed by archeological, linguistic, and genetic findings in the past 60 years. Nevertheless, the timing and routes of entry of modern humans into the Tibetan Plateau is still unclear. To make these problems clear, we carried out high-resolution mitochondrial-DNA (mtDNA) analyses on 562 Tibeto-Burman inhabitants from nine different regions across the plateau. By examining the mtDNA haplogroup distributions and their principal components, we demonstrated that maternal diversity on the plateau reflects mostly a northern East Asian ancestry. Furthermore, phylogeographic analysis of plateau-specific sublineages based on 31 complete mtDNA sequences revealed two primary components: pre-last glacial maximum (LGM) inhabitants and post-LGM immigrants. Also, the analysis of one major pre-LGM sublineage A10 showed a strong signal of post-LGM population expansion (about 15,000 years ago) and greater diversity in the southern part of the Tibetan Plateau, indicating the southern plateau as a refuge place when climate dramatically changed during LGM. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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