Genetic structure of Hmong-Mien speaking populations in East Asia as revealed by mtDNA lineages

Bo Wen, Hui Li, Song Gao, Xianyun Mao, Yang Gao, Feng Li, Feng Zhang, Yungang He, Yongli Dong, Youjun Zhang, Wenju Huang, Jianzhong Jin, Chunjie Xiao, Daru Lu, Ranajit Chakraborty, Bing Su, Ranjan Deka, Li Jin

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Abstract

Hmong-Mien (H-M) is a major language family in East Asia, and its speakers distribute primarily in southern China and Southeast Asia. To date, genetic studies on H-M speaking populations are virtually absent in the literature. In this report, we present the results of an analysis of genetic variations in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable segment 1 (HVS1) region and diagnostic variants in the coding regions in 537 individuals sampled from 17 H-M populations across East Asia. The analysis showed that the haplogroups that are predominant in southern East Asia, including B, R9, N9a, and M7, account for 63% (ranging from 45% to 90%) of mtDNAs in H-M populations. Furthermore, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), phylogenetic tree analysis, and principal component (PC) analysis demonstrate closer relatedness between H-M and other southern East Asians, suggesting a general southern origin of maternal lineages in the H-M populations. The estimated ages of the mtDNA lineages that are specific to H-M coincide with those based on archeological cultures that have been associated with H-M. Analysis of genetic distance and phylogenetic tree indicated some extent of difference between the Hmong and the Mien populations. Together with the higher frequency of north-dominating lineages observed in the Hmong people, our results indicate that the Hmong populations had experienced more contact with the northern East Asians, a finding consistent with historical evidence. Moreover, our data defined some new (sub-)haplogroups (A6, B4e, B4f, C5, F1a1, F1a1a, and R9c), which will direct further efforts to improve the phylogeny of East Asian mtDNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-734
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2005

Keywords

  • East Asia
  • Genetic structure
  • Haplogroup
  • Hmong-Mien
  • mtDNA

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    Wen, B., Li, H., Gao, S., Mao, X., Gao, Y., Li, F., Zhang, F., He, Y., Dong, Y., Zhang, Y., Huang, W., Jin, J., Xiao, C., Lu, D., Chakraborty, R., Su, B., Deka, R., & Jin, L. (2005). Genetic structure of Hmong-Mien speaking populations in East Asia as revealed by mtDNA lineages. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 22(3), 725-734. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msi055