The story appears on

Page A7

July 30, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Uygurs also have European origins

CHINESE anthropologists say they have found strong evidence that the Uygurs are a genetic mix of both East Asian and European ancestries, challenging a study suggesting the Uygurs are genetic ancestors of the East Asian gene pool.

Xu Shuhua, leading author of the paper published in the online version of Molecular Biology and Evolution, a journal published by the Oxford University Press, said their study showed the Uygurs are not the source population of East Asian peoples.

A paper published by three scholars from England's Oxford University in May 2008 suggested East Asians had a genetic source entirely distinct from European peoples. The Uygurs and Hazara gave rise to Cambodian, Mongolian, Oroquen, Xibo, Yi, Tu, Daur and Naxi people of East Asia.

"Our study shows that the Uygur population is more likely a sole recipient with contributions from both East Asian and European peoples," Xu said yesterday at the 16th congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences.

Xu, a geneticist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr Jin Wenfei and Dr Jin Li, analyzed the genetic structure of Uygur samples.

They compared 20,177 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - a DNA sequence variation occurring in specific populations - of their samples with 650,000 SNPs from public genome-wide data to identify shared chromosomal segments between populations.

The study showed that the Uygurs were formed by a two-way mixture, with 60 percent European ancestry and 40 percent East Asian ancestry, that occurred about 2,000 years ago.

Xu explained that if a population had substantial genetic variations that overlapped with that of two other populations, then there are two possible hypotheses: the Uygurs could be the donors of the East Asian and European populations or they could be the recipients.

If the Uygurs were ancient genetic donors to the East Asian and European populations, they should have distinct haplotypes - sets of inherited, linked genetic markers, Xu explained.

"Our results showed that more than 95 percent of the Uygur haplotypes could be found in either East Asian or European populations, which contradicts the expectation the Uygurs are donors," said Xu.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend