Brevia

Reconstructing the Origin of Andaman Islanders

Science  13 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5724, pp. 996
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109987

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Abstract

The origin of the Andaman "Negrito" and Nicobar "Mongoloid" populations has been ambiguous. Our analyses of complete mitochondrial DNA sequences from Onges and Great Andaman populations revealed two deeply branching clades that share their most recent common ancestor in founder haplogroup M, with lineages spread among India, Africa, East Asia, New Guinea, and Australia. This distribution suggests that these two clades have likely survived in genetic isolation since the initial settlement of the islands during an out-of-Africa migration by anatomically modern humans. In contrast, Nicobarese sequences illustrate a close genetic relationship with populations from Southeast Asia.

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