J Syst Evol

• Research Articles •    

Reconstructing the genetic admixture history of Tai-Kadai and Sinitic people: Insights from genome-wide SNP data from South China

Meng‐Ge Wang1,2,3,4,5†, Guang‐Lin He1,2,3,6,7†*, Xing Zou3,8†, Peng‐Yu Chen9, Zheng Wang3, Ren‐Kuan Tang10, Xiao‐Min Yang1,6,11, Jing Chen12, Mei‐Qing Yang12, Ying‐Xiang Li1,6,11, Jing Liu3, Fei Wang3, Jing Zhao1,6,11, Jian‐Xin Guo1,6,11, Rong Hu1,6,11, Lan‐Hai Wei1,6,11, Gang Chen13, Hui‐Yuan Yeh7*, and Chuan‐Chao Wang1,6,11*   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology, National Institute for Data Science in Health and Medicine, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, China
    2 Department of Anthropology and Ethnology, Institute of Anthropology, School of Sociology and Anthropology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, China
    3 Institute of Forensic Medicine, West China School of Basic Science and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610000, China
    4 Guangzhou Forensic Science Institute, Guangzhou 510080, China
    5 Faculty of Forensic Medicine, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat‐sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
    6 Institute Of Rare Diseases, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610000, China
    7 School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 224050, Singapore
    8 College of Medicine, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400016, China
    9 School of Forensic Medicine, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi 563000, Guizhou, China
    10 Department of Forensic Medicine, College of Basic Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
    11 State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, China
    12 Department of Forensic Medicine, Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang 550000, China
    13 Hunan Key Lab of Bioinformatics, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410075, China

    † These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Received:2021-11-30 Accepted:2021-12-17 Online:2022-01-31

Abstract: South China (SC) was a region with mixed rice–millet farming during the Middle Neolithic period and was also suggested to be the homeland of Tai-Kadai (TK)-speaking people. However, the formations of inland TK-speaking people and southwestern Hans are far from clear due to very few studies on this subject. Here, we reveal the spatiotemporally demographic history of SC by analyzing newly-generated genome-wide SNP data of 115 modern southwestern individuals and find that inland TK-speaking Dongs and Bouyeis have a close genomic affinity to coastal TK/Austronesian (AN)-speaking people and Neolithic Yangtze River basin (YZRB) farmers, while southwestern Hans and TK-speaking Gelaos possess a close genomic affinity to Neolithic Yellow River basin (YRB) farmers. Genetic differentiations are identified among TK people from SC and Southeast Asia, and between northern and southern inland Chinese TK people, in which the identified shared genetic ancestry between TK and AN people highlights a common origin of AN/TK groups. Conclusively, our findings indicate that millet farmers deriving from the YRB and rice farmers deriving from the YZRB substantially contribute to the present-day inland TK speakers and southwestern Hans via a two-way admixture scenario of bi-directional gene-flow events, which facilitates the formation of a modern two-way genetic admixture profile.

Key words: ancestral northern East Asian, ancestral southern East Asian, demographic history, gene flow, mixed rice–millet farming, two‐way admixture profile