Reconstructing the demographic history of the Himalayan and adjoining populations

Tamang, Rakesh; Chaubey, Gyaneshwer; Nandan, Amrita; Govindaraj, Periyasamy; Singh, Vipin Kumar; Rai, Niraj; Mallick, Chandana Basu; Sharma, Vishwas; Sharma, Varun Kumar; Shah, Anish M; Lalremruata, Albert; Reddy, Alla G; Rani, Deepa Selvi; Doviah, Pilot; Negi, Neetu; Hadid, Yarin; Pande, Veena; Vishnupriya, Satti; van Driem, George; Behar, Doron M; ... (2018). Reconstructing the demographic history of the Himalayan and adjoining populations. Human genetics, 137(2), pp. 129-139. Springer 10.1007/s00439-018-1867-2

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The rugged topography of the Himalayan region has hindered large-scale human migrations, population admixture and assimilation. Such complexity in geographical structure might have facilitated the existence of several small isolated communities in this region. We have genotyped about 850,000 autosomal markers among 35 individuals belonging to the four major populations inhabiting the Himalaya and adjoining regions. In addition, we have genotyped 794 individuals belonging to 16 ethnic groups from the same region, for uniparental (mitochondrial and Y chromosomal DNA) markers. Our results in the light of various statistical analyses suggest a closer link of the Himalayan and adjoining populations to East Asia than their immediate geographical neighbours in South Asia. Allele frequency-based analyses likely support the existence of a specific ancestry component in the Himalayan and adjoining populations. The admixture time estimate suggests a recent westward migration of populations living to the East of the Himalaya. Furthermore, the uniparental marker analysis among the Himalayan and adjoining populations reveal the presence of East, Southeast and South Asian genetic signatures. Interestingly, we observed an antagonistic association of Y chromosomal haplogroups O3 and D clines with the longitudinal distance. Thus, we summarise that studying the Himalayan and adjoining populations is essential for a comprehensive reconstruction of the human evolutionary and ethnolinguistic history of eastern Eurasia.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

van Driem, George


400 Language > 410 Linguistics








George van Driem

Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2018 10:14

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:18

Publisher DOI:


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