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Keywords:

  • anthropology;
  • HLA class I and class II genes;
  • HLA haplotypes;
  • Minnan and Hakka;
  • “Taiwanese”

Abstract: The Minnan and Hakka people groups, the so-called “Taiwanese”, are the descendants of early settlers from the southeast coast of China during the last few centuries. Genetically they showed affinities to southern Asian populations, as determined by phylogenetic trees and correspondence analysis calculated from HLA allele frequencies. This corresponds historically with the fact that they are the descendants of the southeast coastal indigenous population (Yueh) of China and should therefore not be considered as descendants of “pure” northern Han Chinese. A33-B58-DRB1*03 (A33-Cw10-B58-DRB1*03-DQB1*02), the most common HLA haplotype among “Taiwanese”, with a haplotype frequency of 6.3%, has also been found to be the most common haplotype among Thai-Chinese and Singapore Chinese, two other populations also originating from the southeast coast of China. These observations suggests that this haplotype is the most well-conserved ancient haplotype of the Yueh.