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01. Genomic Insights into the Formation of Human Populations in East Asia

Nature, 22 February 2021

https://doi. org/10.1038/s41586-021-03336-2 (2021)

Chuan-Chao Wang, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Alexander N. Popov, Hu-Qin Zhang, Hirofumi Matsumura, Kendra Sirak, Olivia Cheronet, Alexey Kovalev, Nadin Rohland, Alexander M. Kim, Swapan Mallick, Rebecca Bernardos, Dashtseveg Tumen, Jing Zhao, Yi-Chang Liu, Jiun-Yu Liu, Matthew Mah, Ke Wang, Zhao Zhang, Nicole Adamski, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Kimberly Callan, Francesca Candilio, Kellie Sara Duffett Carlson, Brendan J. Culleton, Laurie Eccles, Suzanne Freilich, Denise Keating, Ann Marie Lawson, Kirsten Mandl, Megan Michel, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kadir Toykan Özdoğan, Kristin Stewardson, Shaoqing Wen, Shi Yan, Fatma Zalzala, Richard Chuang, Ching-Jung Huang, Hana Looh, Chung-Ching Shiung, Yuri G. Nikitin, Andrei V. Tabarev, Alexey A. Tishkin, Song Lin, Zhou-Yong Sun, Xiao-Ming Wu, Tie-Lin Yang, Xi Hu, Liang Chen, Hua Du, Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan, Enkhbayar Mijiddorj, Diimaajav Erdenebaatar, Tumur-Ochir Iderkhangai, Erdene Myagmar, Hideaki Kanzawa-Kiriyama, Masato Nishino, Ken-ichi Shinoda, Olga A. Shubina, Jianxin Guo, Wangwei Cai, Qiongying Deng, Longli Kang, Dawei Li, Dongna Li, Rong Lin, Nini, Rukesh Shrestha, Ling-Xiang Wang, Lanhai Wei, Guangmao Xie, Hongbing Yao, Manfei Zhang, Guanglin He, Xiaomin Yang, Rong Hu, Martine Robbeets, Stephan Schiffels, Douglas J. Kennett, Li Jin , Hui Li, Johannes Krause, Ron Pinhasi & David Reich

Abstract: The deep population history of East Asia remains poorly understood due to a lack of ancient DNA data and sparse sampling of present-day people. We report genome-wide data from 166 East Asians dating to 6000 BCE – 1000 CE and 46 present-day groups. Hunter-gatherers from Japan, the Amur River Basin, and people of Neolithic and Iron Age Taiwan and the Tibetan plateau are linked by a deeply-splitting lineage likely reflecting a Late Pleistocene coastal migration. We follow Holocene expansions from four regions. First, hunter-gatherers of Mongolia and the Amur River Basin have ancestry shared by Mongolic and Tungusic language speakers but do not carry West Liao River farmer ancestry contradicting theories that their expansion spread these proto-languages. Second, Yellow River Basin farmers at ~3000 BCE likely spread Sino-Tibetan languages as their ancestry dispersed both to Tibet where it forms up ~84% to some groups and to the Central Plain where it contributed ~59-84% to Han Chinese. Third, people from Taiwan ~1300 BCE to 800 CE derived ~75% ancestry from a lineage also common in modern Austronesian, Tai-Kadai and Austroasiatic speakers likely deriving from Yangtze River Valley farmers; ancient Taiwan people also derived ~25% ancestry from a northern lineage related to but different from Yellow River farmers implying an additional north-to-south expansion. Fourth, Yamnaya Steppe pastoralist ancestry arrived in western Mongolia after ~3000 BCE but was displaced by previously established lineages even while it persisted in western China as expected if it spread the ancestor of Tocharian Indo-European languages. Two later gene flows affected western Mongolia: after ~2000 BCE migrants with Yamnaya and European farmer ancestry, and episodic impacts of later groups with ancestry from Turan.

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02. Ancient DNA and multimethod dating confirm the late arrival of anatomically modern humans in southern China

PNAS, 23 February 2021

2021: 118 (8) e2019158118;

Xue-feng Sun, Shao-qing Wen, Cheng-qiu Lu, Bo-yan Zhou, Darren Curnoe, Hua-yu Lu, Hong-chun Li, Wei Wang, Hai Cheng, Shuang-wen Yi, Xin Jia, Pan-xin Du, Xing-hua Xu, Yi-ming Lu, Ying Lu, Hong-xiang Zheng, Hong Zhang, Chang Sun, Lan-hai Wei, Fei Han, Juan Huang, R. Lawrence Edwards, Li Jin, and Hui Li

Abstract: The expansion of anatomically modern humans (AMHs) from Africa around 65,000 to 45,000 y ago (ca. 65 to 45 ka) led to the establishment of present-day non-African populations. Some paleoanthropologists have argued that fossil discoveries from Huanglong, Zhiren, Luna, and Fuyan caves in southern China indicate one or more prior dispersals, perhaps as early as ca. 120 ka. We investigated the age of the human remains from three of these localities and two additional early AMH sites (Yangjiapo and Sanyou caves, Hubei) by combining ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis with a multimethod geological dating strategy. Although U–Th dating of capping flowstones suggested they lie within the range ca. 168 to 70 ka, analyses of aDNA and direct AMS 14C dating on human teeth from Fuyan and Yangjiapo caves showed they derive from the Holocene. OSL dating of sediments and AMS 14C analysis of mammal teeth and charcoal also demonstrated major discrepancies from the flowstone ages; the difference between them being an order of magnitude or more at most of these localities. Our work highlights the surprisingly complex depositional history recorded at these subtropical caves which involved one or more episodes of erosion and redeposition or intrusion as recently as the late Holocene. In light of our findings, the first appearance datum for AMHs in southern China should probably lie within the timeframe set by molecular data of ca. 50 to 45 ka.

03. Multidisciplinary evidence supported the hypothesis of north China origin of Sino-Tibetan



Chinese Social Sciences Today (中国社会科学报 ), 11 May 2021

Jian-xin GuoChuan-chao Wang

AbstractThe origin and dispersal of the Sino-Tibetan has been one of the most concerned question in historical comparative linguistics. It noted that the comprehensive analysis of archaeological defined cultures and genetically attested population relationships showed accurate illustration in Sino-Tibetan research, providing multidisciplinary evidence for the origin and dispersal from northern East Asia. Focus on “Farming-language/ethnic dispersal Hypothesis”, linguistic and archaeological studies outlined the migration route of proto-Sino-Tibetan originated from the North China and then dispersed to middle and upper Yellow River area, Southwest China and the Southeast Asia, and supported the hypothesis of “Tibetan-Yi Corridor” in Southwest China since Neolithic Period. By capitalizing on time transects of ancient DNA research in East Asia, we observed the strong genetic affinity between millet-farming-related ancients and modern Sino-Tibetan, which is consistent with the cultural links reflected in linguistic and archaeological studies. Furthermore, from genome-wide ancient DNA perspective, we observed large-scale genetic contribution in modern Sino-Tibetan associated Yangshao and Majiayao Culture ancients, suggesting continuous genetic flow from northern China millet farmers. Therefore, the population migrations in Tibetan-Yi Corridor in southwest East Asia supported by paleogenomicsevidences are coincident with the linguistically and archaeologically attested proto-Sino-Tibetan expansions associated with “Farming-language/ethnic dispersal Hypothesis”.

The work was funded by the European Research Council (ERC), ERC-2019-AdG-883700-TRAM

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04. Origin of ethnic groups, linguistic families, and civilizations in China

viewed from the Y chromosome

Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 26 May 2021

Xueer YuHui Li

AbstractEast Asia, geographically extending to the Pamir Plateau in the west, to the Himalayan Mountains in the southwest, to Lake Baikal in the north and to the South China Sea in the south, harbors a variety of people, cultures, and languages. To reconstruct the natural history of East Asians is a mission of multiple disciplines, including genetics, archaeology, linguistics, and ethnology. Geneticists confirm the recent African origin of modern East Asians. Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa and immigrated into East Asia via a southern route approximately 50,000 years ago. Following the end of the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 12,000 years ago, rice and millet were domesticated in the south and north of East Asia, respectively, which allowed human populations to expand and linguistic families and ethnic groups to develop. These Neolithic populations produced a strong relation between the present genetic structures and linguistic families. The expansion of the Hongshan people from northeastern China relocated most of the ethnic populations on a large scale approximately 5300 years ago. Most of the ethnic groups migrated to remote regions, producing genetic structure differences between the edge and center of East Asia. In central China, pronounced population admixture occurred and accelerated over time, which subsequently formed the Han Chinese population and eventually the Chinese civilization. Population migration between the north and the south throughout history has left a smooth gradient in north–south changes in genetic structure. Observation of the process of shaping the genetic structure of East Asians may help in understanding the global natural history of modern humans.

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05. Tracing the Case Forming in Sinitic Languages and Varieties in the Gansu-Qinghai Linguistic Area


Linguistic Sciences (语言科学), May 2021


Dan XU

Abstract: By tracing and comparing the corpus from the 1960s to the present, we have found that the case marking in Sinitic languages and varieties has been formed gradually. Amdo Tibetan, Mongolic, and Turkic languages have influenced the Sinitic languages at different periods and locations. The case system we can observe today constitutes a competition result from different languages. The accusative case marking is overwhelmingly attested in this area. It is clear that the type of accusative case marking used in Mongolic and Turkic languages prevails over that of ergative case marking seen in Tibetan languages. At the beginning time where Sinitic languages were changing the word order from VO to OV, preverbal direct objects, as well as indirect objects, were not marked by any case. The Hezheng dialect was the first to use an accusative/dative marker with a phonetic form [a] in the corpus from the 1960s. It seems that the postposition [xa] ‘under’ in Sinitic languages could not be the source of this marker: it is a type of borrowing based on pattern models from other languages, while the phonetic form comes from the topic marker [a/xa] in Sinitic languages. In possession and experiencer sentences, the dative marker use can be found in published data after 80s. Our study shows that this dative marker has been formed later than the first type. As for the pronominal marking, the first and second person pronouns have performed earlier the case marking than the third person pronoun; moreover, the first and second person pronouns have experienced a coalescence with the case marker.


06. The Source of polokai ‘knee’ in Chinese: Deep Contact between the Chinese and Non-Chinese Languages

(汉语“波罗盖(膝)”的来源 ——兼谈汉语与非汉语的深层接触)

Minority Languages of China (民族语文), (03) 2021


Dan XU

Abstract: This paper proposes that the word polokai ‘knee’, widely distributed in the dialects of northern China, did not have its source in the Chinese language itself, but come from substrate languages spoken by northern populations. It was probably transmitted through the Jurchenized Tungusic people. Historical documents show that during the formation of the Jurchen and Manchu, diverse tribes had been integrated into them. The linguistic data shows that the p-l-k (polokai ‘knee’) pattern in the northern Chinese dialects is likely to be related to the b-l-g ‘knee’ pattern in Tungusic languages. The morphological means observed in Tungusic languages may have a deep connection with that found in languages of nomadic, fishing-hunting populations in the North. This word is probably linked to a cognate root bul- / pal- shared between these ancient languages.


07. Exploring the origin and diversification of the Xiongnu from a multidisciplinary perspective


Chinese Social Sciences Today (中国社会科学报 ), 13 Septembre 2021

Na Sun, Chuan-chao Wang


08. Genome‐wide autosomal, mtDNA, and Y chromosome analysis of King Bela III of the Hungarian Arpad dynasty

Scientific Reports, (2021) 11: 19210

Chuan-Chao WangCosimo Posth, Anja Furtwängler, Katalin Sümegi, Zsolt Bánfai, Miklós Kásler, Johannes Krause and Béla Melegh

AbstractThe ancient Hungarians, “Madzsars”, established their control of the Carpathian Basin in the late ninth century and founded the Hungarian Kingdom around 1000AD. The origin of the Magyars as a tribal federation has been much debated in the past. From the time of the conquest to the early fourteenth century they were ruled by descendants of the Arpad family. In order to learn more about the genetic origin of this family, we here analyzed the genome of Bela III one of the most prominent members of the early Hungarian dynasty that ruled the Hungarian Kingdom from 1172 to 1196. The Y‐Chromosome of Bela III belongs to haplogroup R1a‐Z2123 that is today found in highest frequency in Central Asia, supporting a Central Asian origin for the ruling lineage of the Hungarian kingdom. The autosomal DNA profile of Bela III, however, falls within the genetic variation of present‐day east European populations. This is further supported through his mtDNA genome that belongs to haplogroup H, the most common European maternal lineage, but also found in Central Asia. However, we didn’t find an exact haplotype match for Bela III. The typical autosomal and maternal Central Eastern European ancestry among Bela III autosomes might be best explained by consecutive intermarriage with local European ruling families.


09. Genomic Insight Into the Population Structure and Admixture History of Tai-Kadai-Speaking Sui People in Southwest China

Frontiers in Genetics, 20 Septembre 2021

doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.735084

Xiaoyun Bin, Rui Wang, Youyi Huang, Rongyao Wei, Kongyang Zhu, Xiaomin Yang, Hao Ma, Guanglin He, Jianxin Guo, Jing Zhao, Meiqing Yang, Jing Chen, Xianpeng Zhang, Le Tao, Yilan Liu, Xiufeng Huang and Chuan-Chao Wang


AbstractSui people, which belong to the Tai-Kadai-speaking family, remain poorly characterized due to a lack of genome-wide data. To infer the fine-scale population genetic structure and putative genetic sources of the Sui people, we genotyped 498,655 genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using SNP arrays in 68 Sui individuals from seven indigenous populations in Guizhou province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in Southwest China and co-analyzed with available East Asians via a series of population genetic methods including principal component analysis (PCA), ADMIXTURE, pairwise Fst genetic distance, f-statistics, qpWave, and qpAdm. Our results revealed that Guangxi and Guizhou Sui people showed a strong genetic affinity with populations from southern China and Southeast Asia, especially Tai-Kadai- and Hmong-Mien- speaking populations as well as ancient Iron Age Taiwan Hanben, Gongguan individuals supporting the hypothesis that Sui people came from southern China originally. The indigenous Tai-Kadai-related ancestry (represented by Li), Northern East Asian-related ancestry, and Hmong-Mien-related lineage contributed to the formation processes of the Sui people. We identified the genetic substructure within Sui groups: Guizhou Sui people were relatively homogeneous and possessed similar genetic profiles with neighboring Tai-Kadai-related populations, such as Maonan. While Sui people in Yizhou and Huanjiang of Guangxi might receive unique, additional gene flow from Hmong- Mien-speaking populations and Northern East Asians, respectively, after the divergence within other Sui populations. Sui people could be modeled as the admixture of ancient Yellow River Basin farmer-related ancestry (36.2–54.7%) and ancient coastal Southeast Asian-related ancestry (45.3–63.8%). We also identified the potential positive selection signals related to the disease susceptibility in Sui people via integrated haplotype score (iHS) and number of segregating sites by length (nSL) scores. These genomic findings provided new insights into the demographic history of Tai-Kadai-speaking Sui people and their interaction with neighboring populations in Southern China.


10. On the disjunctive constructions and related constructions in Zhoutun

Lingua, 24 Septembre 2021

Chenlei ZHOU

AbstractThis paper focuses on two disjunctive constructions in Zhoutun, namely, the puʂi-disjunctive construction “[[(puʂi) C1…, puʂi Cn]←→[Alternation: C1- Cn]]” and the mɤ-disjunctive construction “[[X mɤ Y]←→[Alternation: X-Y]]”. The prepositional, standard disjunctive coordinator puʂi links declarative clausal coordinands, and the postpositional, intterogative disjunctive coordinator mɤ links clauses and NPs. The constructionalization process of the two constructions is discussed in detail. The puʂi-disjunctive construction underwent the process of “C1, tʂɤmɤ puʂi ʂi, C2 > C1, pu ʂi ʂi, C2 > C1, puʂi C2 > (puʂi) C1…, puʂi Cn”. The mɤ-disjunctive construction originated from the mɤ-question construction in which mɤ is the question marker. Another two related constructions containing puʂi, the puʂi-imperative construction “[[puʂi Cimp]←→[Imperative with softer tone]]” and the puʂi-exceptive construction “[[NP puʂi (ʂi) NEG]←→[Only NP]]” are also discussed in terms of their use and constructionalization process.


11. Genomic Insight Into the Population Admixture History of Tungusic-Speaking Manchu People in Northeast China

Frontiers in Genetics, 30 Septembre 2021


Xianpeng Zhang, Guanglin He, Wenhui Li, Yunfeng Wang, Xin Li, Ying Chen, Quanying Qu, Ying Wang, Huanjiu Xi, Chuan-Chao Wang and Youfeng Wen 

Abstract: Manchu is the third-largest ethnic minority in China and has the largest population size among the Tungusic-speaking groups. However, the genetic origin and admixture history of the Manchu people are far from clear due to the sparse sampling and a limited number of markers genotyped. Here, we provided the first batch of genome-wide data of genotyping approximate 700,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 93 Manchu individuals collected from northeast China. We merged the newly generated data with data of publicly available modern and ancient East Asians to comprehensively characterize the genetic diversity and fine-scale population structure, as well as explore the genetic origin and admixture history of northern Chinese Manchus. We applied both descriptive methods of ADMIXTURE, fineSTRUCTURE, FST, TreeMix, identity by decedent (IBD), principal component analysis (PCA), and qualitative f-statistics (f3 , f4, qpAdm, and qpWave). We found that Liaoning Manchus have a close genetic relationship and significant admixture signal with northern Han Chinese, which is in line with the cluster patterns in the haplotype-based results. Additionally, the qpAdm-based admixture models showed that modern Manchu people were formed as major ancestry related to Yellow River farmers and minor ancestry linked to ancient populations from Amur River Bain, or others. In summary, the northeastern Chinese Manchu people in Liaoning were an exception to the coherent genetic structure of Tungusic-speaking populations, probably due to the large-scale population migrations and genetic admixtures in the past few hundred years.


12. Comparative Performance of the MGISEQ-2000 and Illumina X-Ten Sequencing Platforms for Paleogenomics

Frontiers in Genetics, 04 Octobre 2021


Kongyang Zhu, Panxin Du, Jianxue Xiong, Xiaoying Ren, Chang Sun, Yichen Tao, Yi Ding, Yiran Xu, Hailiang Meng, Chuan-Chao Wang and Shao-Qing Wen 

AbstractThe MGISEQ-2000 sequencer is widely used in various omics studies, but the performance of this platform for paleogenomics has not been evaluated. We here compare the performance of MGISEQ-2000 with the Illumina X-Ten on ancient human DNA using four samples from 1750 BCE to 60 CE. We found there were only slight differences between the two platforms in most parameters (duplication rate, sequencing bias, θ, δS, and λ). MGISEQ-2000 performed well on endogenous rate and library complexity although X-Ten had a higher average base quality and lower error rate. Our results suggest that MGISEQ-2000 and X-Ten have comparable performance, and MGISEQ-2000 can be an alternative platform for paleogenomics sequencing.


13. Inferring the population structure and admixture history of three Hmong-Mien-speaking Miao tribes from southwest China based on Genome-wide SNP genotyping

Annals of Human Biology, 12 November 2021

Ting Luo, Rui Wang and Chuan-Chao Wang 

AbstractHmong-Mien speaking Miao, also called Hmong, is the sixthlargest ethnic group in mainland China. However, the fine-scale genetic profiles and population history of Miao populations in southwest China, especially in Guizhou province, remain uncharacterised due to a scarcity of samples of genome-wide data from different tribes. To further investigate the population substructure and admixture history of the Guizhou Miao minority. We collected 29 samples from three Miao tribes of Guizhou province in southwest China and genotyped about 700,000 genome-wide SNPs of each sample. We analysed newly generated data in together with published modern/ancient East Asian populations datasets via a series of population genetic methods, including principal component analysis (PCA), ADMIXTURE, Fst, TreeMix, f-statistics, qpWave, and qpAdm. PCA and ADMIXTURE results showed that the three studied Guizhou Miao groups consistently fell on the Hmong-Mien-related genetic cline and were relatively genetically homogeneous, displayingd a genetic affinity with neighbouring Tai-Kadai speaking populations such as Dong. These results were further confirmed by the observed genetic clade in Fst, TreeMix, outgroup-f3 -statistics, and f4-statistics. Furthermore, f4 -based allele sharing patterns illustrated that compared with Hunan Miao in central China, Guizhou Miao shared more alleles with Hmong-Mien-speaking Vietnam Hmong and Tai-Kadai-speaking CoLao, Dong, while exhibiting less northeast Asian-related ancestry. Admixture-f3 and f4 statistics revealed the North-South admixture pattern for the studied Guizhou Miao. A qpAdm-based two-way admixture model further revealed that the studied Guizhou Miao harboured 44%∼55.4% indigenous Austronesian-speaking Atayal-related ancestry and 44.6%∼56% Late Neolithic Yellow River farmer-related ancestry. The population structure within Hmong-Mien-related populations showed a geographic correlation. Hmong-Mien speaking Hunan Miao, Guizhou Miao, and Vietnam Hmong presented closer genetic relationships although they dwelt in different regions, suggesting the preservation of the original Hmong-related genetic diversity. The results based on genome-wide SNPs data generally matched the migration history for the Miao population. Our study contributes to a better knowledge of Miao populations and the population structure in southwest China.


14. Genomic insights into Neolithic farming-related migrations in the junction of east and southeast Asia

American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 15 November 2021

Jianxin Guo, Weitao Wang, Kai Zhao, Guangxing Li, Guanglin He, Jing Zhao, Xiaomin Yang, Jinwen Chen, Kongyang Zhu, Rui Wang, Hao Ma, Bingying Xu, Chuan-Chao Wang 


Objectives: We aim to detect demographic history and early farming-related migration of the crossroad area in the junction of east Asia (EA) and southeast Asia (SEA).
Materials and methods: We collected and genotyped 87 individuals from 6 Tibeto-Burman and Austr
oasiatic-speaking populations including Bai, Pumi, Hani, Lahu, Wa, and Blang with nearly 700,000 genome-wide SNPs. We subsequently ana- lyzed genetic structure and admixture using our merged dataset including both ancient and modern eastern Eurasians with PCA, ADMIXTURE, Refine-IBD, f statistics and qpAdm.
Results: We observed population substructure within the studied Tibeto-Burman populations. The northern Tibeto-Burman groups (Bai and Pumi) had a predominant genomic legacy associated to millet-farming from North China and also high frequen- cies of Y-chromosomal haplogroup O2a2b1-M134 (xM117) and its sub-clades. By contrast, southern Tibeto-Burman groups (Lahu and Hani) had more than 60% geno- mic legacy associated to rice-farming, which is prevalent in present-day Tai-Kadai, Austronesian and Austroasiatic speaking populations. We observed strong genetic affinities between Austroasiatic populations in Yunnan (Blang and Wa) and mainland southeast Asia.
Discussion: Our study revealed that both demic migrations and cultural interactions from north to south and east to west since the Late Neolithic have shaped the genetic structure of populations at the crossroads of EA and SEA. The dominant genomic legacy associated with millet-farming in northern Tibeto-Burman populations indicates large-scale Neolithic migrations from the Upper-Middle Yellow River Basin. The rice-farming expansion has deeply influenced the genetic profile of both southern Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic populations, suggesting migrations from east to west via both inland and coastal routes.


15. Genomic insights into the genetic structure and natural selection of Mongolians

Frontiers in Genetics, November 2021


Xiaomin Yang, Sarengaowa Sarengaowa, Guanglin He, Jianxin GuoKongyang Zhu, Hao Ma, Jing Zhao, Meiqing Yang, Jing Chen, Xianpeng Zhang, Le Tao, Yilan Liu, Xiu-Fang Zhang and Chuan-Chao Wang 



AbstractMongolians dwell at the Eastern Eurasian Steppe, where is the agriculture and pasture interlaced area, practice pastoral subsistence strategies for generations and have their own complex genetic formation history. There is evidence that the eastward expansion of Western Steppe herders transformed the lifestyle of post-Bronze Age Mongolia Plateau populations, and brought gene flow into the gene pool of Eastern Eurasians. Here, we reported genome-wide data for 42 individuals from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of North China. We observed that our studied Mongolians were structured into three distinct genetic clusters possessing different genetic affinity with previous studied inner Mongolians and Mongols and various Eastern and Western Eurasian ancestry: two subgroups harbored dominant Eastern Eurasian ancestry from Neolithic millet farmers of Yellow River Basin; another subgroup derived Eastern Eurasian ancestry primarily from Neolithic hunter-gatherers of North Asia. Besides, three-way/four-way qpAdm admixture models revealed both north and southern Western Eurasian ancestry related to the Western Steppe herders and Iranian farmers contributed to the genetic materials into modern Mongolians. ALDER-based admixture coefficient and haplotype-based GLOBETROTTER demonstrated that the former western ancestry detected in modern Mongolian could be recently traced back to historic period in accordance with the historical record about the westward expansion of Mongol empire. Furthermore, the natural selection analysis of Mongolian showed that Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) region underwent significantly positive selective sweeps. The functional genes alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and lactase persistence (LCT) were not identified, while the higher/lower frequencies of derived mutations were strongly correlated with the genetic affinity to East Asian/Western Eurasian. Our attested complex population movement and admixture in the agriculture and pasture interlaced area played an important role in the formation of modern Mongolians.


16. Genomic history and forensic characteristics of Sherpa highlanders on the Tibetan Plateau inferred from high-resolution InDel panel and genome-wide SNPs

Forensic Science International: Genetics, 18 November 2021

Mengge Wang, Weian Du, Renkuan Tang, Yan Liu, Xing Zou, Didi Yuan, Zheng Wang, Jing Liu, Jianxin Guo, Xiaomin Yang, Jing Chen, Meiqing Yang, Xianpeng Zhang,
Lan-Hai Wei, Haibing Yuan, Hui-Yuan Yeh, 
Chuan-Chao Wang, Chao Liu, Guanglin He 

Abstract: Sherpa people, one of the high-altitude hypoxic adaptive populations, mainly reside in Nepal and the southern Tibet Autonomous Region. The genetic origin and detailed evolutionary profiles of Sherpas remain to be further explored and comprehensively characterized. Here we analyzed the newly-generated InDel genotype data from 628 Dingjie Sherpas by merging with 4222 worldwide InDel profiles and collected genome-wide SNP data (approximately 600 K SNPs) from 1612 individuals in 191 modern and ancient populations to explore and reconstruct the fine-scale genetic structure of Sherpas and their relationships with nearby modern and ancient East Asians based on the shared alleles and haplotypes. The forensic parameters of 57 autosomal InDels (A-InDels) included in our used new-generation InDel amplification system showed that this focused InDel panel is informative and polymorphic in Dingjie Sherpas, suggesting that it can be used as the supplementary tool for forensic personal identification and parentage testing in Dingjie Sherpas. Descriptive findings from the PCA, ADMIXTURE, and TreeMix-based phylogenies suggested that studied Nepal Sherpas showed excess allele sharing with neighboring Tibeto-Burman Tibetans. Furthermore, patterns of allele sharing in f-statistics demonstrated that Nepal Sherpas had a different evolutionary history compared with their neighbors from Nepal (Newar and Gurung) but showed genetic similarity with 2700-year-old Chokhopani and modern Tibet Tibetans. QpAdm/qpGraph-based admixture sources and models further showed that Sherpas, core Tibetans, and Chokhopani formed one clade, which could be fitted as having the main ancestry from late Neolithic Qijia millet farmers and other deep ancestries from early Asians. Chromosome painting profiles and shared IBD fragments inferred from fineSTRUCTURE and ChromoPainter not only confirmed the abovementioned genomic affinity patterns but also revealed the fine-scale genetic microstructures among Sino-Tibetan speakers. Finally, natural-selection signals revealed via iHS, nSL and iHH12 showed natural selection signatures associated with disease susceptibility in Sherpas. Generally, we provided the comprehensive landscape of admixture and evolutionary history of Sherpa people based on the shared alleles and haplotypes from the InDel-based genotype data and high-density genome-wide SNP data. The more detailed genetic landscape of Sherpa people should be further confirmed and characterized via ancient genomes or single-molecule real-time sequencing technology.


17. The genetic structure and East-West population admixture in northwest China inferred from genome-wide array genotyping

Frontiers in Genetics, 21 December 2021

Bin Ma, Jinwen Chen, Xiaomin Yang, Jingya Bai, Siwei Ouyang, Xiaodan Mo, Wangsheng Chen, Chuan-Chao Wang and  Xiangjun Hai 


AbstractNorthwest China is a contacting region for East and West Eurasia and an important center for investigating the migration and admixture history of human populations. However, the comprehensive genetic structure and admixture history of the Altaic speaking populations and Hui group in Northwest China were still not fully characterized due to insufficient sampling and the lack of genome-wide data. Thus, We genotyped genome-wide SNPs for 140 individuals from 5 Chinese Mongolic, Turkic speaking groups including Dongxiang, Bonan, Yugur and Salar, as well as the Hui group. Analysis based on allele-sharing and haplotype-sharing were used to elucidate the population history of Northwest Chinese populations, including PCA, ADMIXTURE, pairwise Fst genetic distance, f-statistics, qpWave/qpAdm and ALDER, fineSTRUCTURE and GLOBETROTTER. We observed Dongxiang, Bonan, Yugur, Salar and Hui people were admixed populations deriving ancestry from both East and West Eurasians, with the proportions of West Eurasian related contributions ranging from 9% to 15%. The genetic admixture was probably driven by male-biased migration-showing a higher frequency of West Eurasian related Y chromosomal lineages than that of mtDNA detected in Northwest China. ALDER-based admixture and haplotype-based GLOBETROTTER showed this observed West Eurasian admixture signal was introduced into East Eurasia approximately 700~1000 years ago. Generally, our findings provided supporting evidence that the flourish transcontinental communication between East and West Eurasia played a vital role in the genetic formation of northwest Chinese populations.


18. The locutor-referential pronoun in Zhoutun

Himalayan Linguistics, Vol. 20(3) 2021

Chenlei Zhou

Abstract: This paper explores a special pronoun, the locutor-referential pronoun tha in Zhoutun, a Tibetanized Chinese variant spoken in the Amdo Sprachbund. Two rules of the use of tha are found in this paper. Rule 1: If tha occurs in a complement clause of a speech verb, it refers to the internal locutor. Rule 2: If tha occurs in an environment other than a complement clause of a speech verb, it refers to the narrative locutor. If only rule 1 is followed, then tha can be considered a logophoric pronoun; however, tha is special in that it can also be used in the context to which rule 2 applies, a usage that does not fit the definition of a logophoric pronoun. The use of tha is not obligatory. An inherited form from Mandarin Chinese, the formation of the locutor-referential tha has to do with the contact with Amdo Tibetan and its probable evolving pathway is “third-person pronoun> logophoric pronoun> locutor-referential pronoun”.


19. Intertwined model of syntactic borrowing in the Gansu-Qinghai linguistic area

Himalayan Linguistics, Vol. 20(3) 2021


Dan XU

AbstractThis paper studies two grammatical cases in the Gansu-Qinghai linguistic area. Accusative-dative, a syncretic case largely attested in Sinitic languages, is also found in Bao’an and Tu, even if in a very limited use. The Sinitic languages have acquired this syncretic case marking through pattern reduplication due to language contact, while Bao’an and Tu have this innovation owing to the internal mechanisms of their language. The second phenomenon concerns possessor constructions in which the subject-possessor must be marked by a dative case. This marking is seen in all non-Sinitic languages in the Gansu-Qinghai linguistic area and has begun to appear in Sinitic languages. Multiple paths for borrowing between and inside languages in this area present an intertwined model of language borrowing. Linxia City and its closest counties should be the spreading center of these new syntactic devices, and Muslim populations speaking different languages may form a spreading net.




20. Genomic insights into the admixture history of Mongolic- and Tungusic-speaking populations from Southwestern East Asia

Frontiers in Genetics, June 2021


Jing Chen, Guanglin He, Zheng Ren, Qiyan Wang, Yubo Liu, Hongling Zhang, Meiqing Yang, Han Zhang, Jingyan Ji, Jing Zhao, Jianxin Guo, Kongyang Zhu, Xiaomin Yang, Rui Wang, Hao Ma, Chuan-Chao Wang and Jiang Huang

As a major part of the modern Trans-Eurasian or Altaic language family, most of the Mongolic and Tungusic languages were mainly spoken in northern China, Mongolia, and southern Siberia, but some were also found in southern China. Previous genetic surveys only focused on the dissection of genetic structure of northern Altaic-speaking populations; however, the ancestral origin and genomic diversification of Mongolic and Tungusic–speaking populations from southwestern East Asia remain poorly understood because of the paucity of high-density sampling and genome-wide data. Here, we generated genome-wide data at nearly 700,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 26 Mongolians and 55 Manchus collected from Guizhou province in southwestern China. We applied principal component analysis (PCA), ADMIXTURE, f statistics, qpWave/qpAdm analysis, qpGraph, TreeMix, Fst, and ALDER to infer the fine-scale population genetic structure and admixture history. We found significant genetic differentiation between northern and southern Mongolic and Tungusic speakers, as one specific genetic cline of Manchu and Mongolian was identified in Guizhou province. Further results from ADMIXTURE and f statistics showed that the studied Guizhou Mongolians and Manchus had a strong genetic affinity with southern East Asians, especially for inland southern East Asians. The qpAdm-based estimates of ancestry admixture proportion demonstrated that Guizhou Mongolians and Manchus people could be modeled as the admixtures of one northern ancestry related to northern Tungusic/Mongolic speakers or Yellow River farmers and one southern ancestry associated with Austronesian, Tai-Kadai, and Austroasiatic speakers. The qpGraph-based phylogeny and neighbor-joining tree further confirmed that Guizhou Manchus and Mongolians derived approximately half of the ancestry from their northern ancestors and the other half from southern Indigenous East Asians. The estimated admixture time ranged from 600 to 1,000 years ago, which further confirmed the admixture events were mediated via the Mongolians Empire expansion during the formation of the Yuan dynasty.


21. Genomic Insights Into the Population History and Biological Adaptation of Southwestern Chinese Hmong–Mien People

Frontiers in Genetics, 03 January 2022

doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.815160

Yan Liu, Jie Xie, Mengge Wang, Changhui Liu, Jingrong Zhu, Xing Zou, Wenshan Li, Lin Wang, Cuo Leng, Quyi Xu, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Chuan-Chao Wang, Xiaohong Wen, Chao Liu and Guanglin He


Abstract: Hmong–Mien (HM) -speaking populations, widely distributed in South China, the north of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, have experienced different settlement environments, dietary habits, and pathogenic exposure. However, their specific biological adaptation remained largely uncharacterized, which is important in the population evolutionary genetics and Trans-Omics for regional Precision Medicine. Besides, the origin and genetic diversity of HM people and their phylogenetic relationship with surrounding modern and ancient populations are also unknown. Here, we reported genome-wide SNPs in 52 representative Miao people and combined them with 144 HM people from 13 geographically representative populations to characterize the full genetic admixture and adaptive landscape of HM speakers. We found that obvious genetic substructures existed in geographically different HM populations; one localized in the HM clines, and others possessed affinity with Han Chinese. We also identified one new ancestral lineage specifically existed in HM people, which spatially distributed from Sichuan and Guizhou in the north to Thailand in the south. The sharing patterns of the newly identified homogenous ancestry component combined the estimated admixture times via the decay of linkage disequilibrium and haplotype sharing in GLOBETROTTER suggested that the modern HM-speaking populations originated from Southwest China and migrated southward in the historic period, which is consistent with the reconstructed phenomena of linguistic and archeological documents. Additionally, we identified specific adaptive signatures associated with several important human nervous system biological functions. Our pilot work emphasized the importance of anthropologically informed sampling and deeply genetic structure reconstruction via whole-genome sequencing in the next step in the deep Chinese Population Genomic Diversity Project (CPGDP), especially in the regions with rich ethnolinguistic diversity.


22. Studying Han and non-Han Languages in Northern China from an Interdisciplinary Perspective


Chinese Social Sciences Today (中国社会科学报 ), 04 January 2022


Dan XU


23. Extensive ethnolinguistic diversity at the crossroads of North China and South Siberia reflects multiple sources of genetic diversity

Journal of Systematics and Evolution09 January 2022

Guanglin He, Mengge Wang, Xing Zou, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Changhui Liu, Chao Liu, Gang Chen, Chuan-Chao Wang

AbstractNorth China and South Siberia, populated by Altaic- and Sino-Tibetan-speaking populations, possess extensive ethnolinguistic diversity and serve as the crossroads for the initial peopling of America and western-eastern trans-continental communication. However, the population genetic structure and admixture history of northern East Asians remain poorly understood due to a lack of genome-wide data, especially for Mongolic-speaking people in China. We genotyped genome-wide SNPs for 510 individuals from 38 Mongolic, Tungusic, and Sinitic speaking populations. We first explored the shared alleles and haplotypes within the studied groups. We then merged with 3508 published modern and ancient Eurasian individuals to reconstruct the deep evolutionary and natural selection history of northern East Asians. We identified genetic substructures within Altaic-speaking populations: Western Turkic people harboured more western Eurasian related ancestry; Northern Mongolic people in Siberia and eastern Tungusic people in Amur River Basin (ARB) possessed a majority of Neolithic ARB related ancestry; Southern Mongolic people in China possessed apparent genetic influence from Neolithic Yellow River Basin (YRB) farmers. Additionally, we found the differentiated admixture history between western and eastern Mongolians and geographically close Northeast Hans: the former received a genetic impact from western Eurasians, and the latter retained the primary Neolithic YRB and ARB ancestry. Moreover, we demonstrated that Kalmyk people from the northern Caucasus Mountain possessed a strong genetic affinity with Neolithic Mongolian Plateau (MP) people, supporting the hypothesis of their eastern Eurasian origin and long-distance migration history. We also illuminated that historical pastoral empires in the MP contributed considerably to the gene pool of northern Mongolic people but rarely to the southern ones. We finally found natural selection signatures in Mongolians associated with alcohol metabolism. Our results demonstrated that the Neolithic ancestral sources from the MP or ARB played an important role in spreading Altaic populations and languages. The observed multi-sources of genetic diversity contributed significantly to the extensive ethnolinguistic diversity in northern East Asia.


24. Reconstructing the genetic admixture history of Tai-Kadai and Sinitic people:

Insights from genome-wide SNP data from South China

Journal of Systematics and EvolutionJanuary 2022

doi: 10.1111/jse.12825

Mengge Wang, Guanglin He, Xing Zou, Pengyu Chen, Zheng Wang, Renkuan Tang, Xiaomin Yang, Jing Chen, Meiqing Yang, Yingxiang Li, Jing Liu, Fei Wang, Jing Zhao, Jianxin Guo, Rong Hu, Lan‐Hai Wei, Gang Chen, Hui‐Yuan Yeh, and  Chuan-Chao Wang

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.


25. The northern gene flow into southeastern EastAsians inferred from genome-wide array genotyping

Journal of Systematics and Evolution, January 2022

Guanglin He, Yingxiang Li, Xing Zou, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Renkuan Tang,Peixin Wang, Jingya Bai, Xiaomin Yang, Zheng Wang, Jianxin Guo, Jinwen Chen, Jing Chen, Meiqing Yang, Jing Zhao, Jin Sun, Kongyang Zhu, Hao Ma, Rui Wang, Wenjiao Yang, Rong Hu, Lan-Hai Wei, Yiping Hou, Mengge Wang, Gang Chen and Chuan-Chao Wang

The population history of Southeast (SE) China remains poorly understood due to the sparse sampling of present-day populations and limited modeling with ancient genomic data. We report genome-wide genotyping data from 207 present-day Han Chinese and Hmong-Mien (HM)-speaking She people from Fujian and Taiwan Island, SE China. We coanalyzed 66 Early Neolithic to Iron Age ancient Fujian and Taiwan Island individuals obtained from previously published works to explore the genetic continuity and admixture based on patterns of genetic variations of the high-resolution time transect. We found the genetic differentiation between northern and southern East Asians was defined by a north–south East Asian genetic cline and our studied southern East Asians were clustered in the southern end of this cline. The southeastern coastal modern East Asians are genetically similar to other southern indigenous groups as well as geographically close to Neolithic-to-Iron Age populations, but they also shared excess alleles with post-Neolithic Yellow River ancients, which suggested a southward gene flow on the modern southern coastal gene pool. In addition, we identified one new HM genetic cline in East Asia with the coastal Fujian HM-speaking She localizing at the intersection between HM and Han clines. She people show stronger genetic affinity with southern East Asian indigenous populations, with the main ancestry deriving from groups related to southeastern ancient indigenous rice farmers. The southeastern Han Chinese could be modeled with the primary ancestry deriving from the group related to the Yellow River Basin millet farmers and the remaining from groups related to rice farmers, which was consistent with the northern China origin of modern southeastern Han Chinese and in line with the historically and archaeologically attested southward migrations of Han people and their ancestors. Our estimated north–south admixture time ranges based on the decay of the linkage disequilibrium spanned from the Bronze Age to historic periods, suggesting the recent large-scale population migrations and subsequent admixture participated in the formation of modern Han in SE Asia.

26. Fine-Scale Population Admixture Landscape of Tai–Kadai-Speaking Maonan in Southwest China Inferred From Genome-Wide SNP Data

Frontiers in Genetics, 17 February 2022


Jing Chen, Guanglin He, Zheng Ren, Qiyan Wang, Yubo Liu, Hongling Zhang, Meiqing Yang, Han Zhang, Jingyan Ji, Jing Zhao, Jianxin Guo, Jinwen Chen, Kongyang Zhu, Xiaomin Yang, Rui Wang, Hao Ma, Le Tao, Yilan Liu, Qu Shen, Wenjiao Yang, Chuan-Chao Wang and Jiang Huang

Abstract: Guizhou Province harbors extensive ethnolinguistic and cultural diversity with Sino- Tibetan-, Hmong–Mien-, and Tai–Kadai-speaking populations. However, previous genetic analyses mainly focused on the genetic admixture history of the former two linguistic groups. The admixture history of Tai–Kadai-speaking populations in Guizhou needed to be characterized further. Thus, we genotyped genome-wide SNP data from 41 Tai–Kadai-speaking Maonan people and made a comprehensive population genetic analysis to explore their genetic origin and admixture history based on the pattern of the sharing alleles and haplotypes. We found a genetic affinity among geographically different Tai–Kadai-speaking populations, especially for Guizhou Maonan people and reference Maonan from Guangxi. Furthermore, formal tests based on the f3/f4-statistics further identified an adjacent connection between Maonan and geographically adjacent Hmong–Mien and Sino-Tibetan people, which was consistent with their historically documented shared material culture (Zhang et al., iScience, 2020, 23, 101032). Fitted qpAdm-based two-way admixture models with ancestral sources from northern and southern East Asians demonstrated that Maonan people were an admixed population with primary ancestry related to Guangxi historical people and a minor proportion of ancestry from Northeast Asians, consistent with their linguistically supported southern China origin. Here, we presented the landscape of genetic structure and diversity of Maonan people and a simple demographic model for their evolutionary process. Further whole-genome- sequence–based projects can be presented with more detailed information about the population history and adaptative history of the Guizhou Maonan people.


27. The genomic formation of Tanka people, an isolated “gypsies in water” in the coastal region of Southeast China

American Journal of Biological Anthropology05 March 2022


Guanglin He, Yunhe Zhang, Lan-Hai Wei, Mengge Wang, Xiaomin Yang, Jianxin Guo, Rong Hu, Chuan-Chao Wang and Xianqing Zhang


Objectives: Three different hypotheses proposed via the controversial evidence from cultural, anthropological, and uniparental genetic analyses, respectively, stated that Tanka people probably originated from Han Chinese, ancient Baiyue tribe, or the admixture of them. Therefore, the genetic origin and admixture history of the Tanka people, an isolated “Gypsies in water” in the coastal region of Southeast China, are needed to be genetically clarified using genome-wide SNP data.

Materials and methods: To elucidate the genetic origin of the Southeast Tanka peo- ple and explore their genetic relationship with surrounding indigenous Tai-Kadai (TK), Hmong-Mien (HM), and Austronesian (AN) people and Neolithic-to-historic ancients from the Yellow River Basin (YRB) and Fujian, we conducted a large-scale population genomic study among 1498 modern and ancient Eurasians, in which 73 Tanka and 4 Han people were first reported here. Both allele-shared and haplotype-based statis- tical methods were used here, including PCA, ADMIXTURE, f-statistics, ALDER, qpGraph/TreeMix and qpAdm/qpWave, ChromoPainter, and fineSTRUCTURE.

Results: We found a specific genetic cline in PCA plots and detected the Tanka- specific homogeneous ancestry in model-based ADMIXTURE, suggesting differenti- ated demographic history between Tanka and surrounding Hans. Formal tests based on sharing allele patterns showed a close relationship between Tanka people and Han Chinese, but the Tanka population harbored more southern indigenous East Asian ancestry related to AA/HM/TK people compared with southern Hans. Besides, the reconstructed differentiated demographic history revealed that southern Xinshizhou Tankas harbored more ancestry related to the TK people or coastal ancient Neolithic to Bronze Age southern East Asians compared with northern Shacheng Tankas. The qpGraph/TreeMix-based phylogenetic framework, qpAdm/ qpWave-based admixture modeling among ancient northern and southern East Asians and fineSTRUCTURE-based dendrogram further demonstrated that the primary ancestry of modern Tankas derived from ancient millet farmers in the YRB with addi- tional admixture from multiple southern East Asian sources. 

Discussion: Sharing ancestry estimated from the f-statistics and sharing haplotypic landscape inferred from the ChromoPainter and fineSTRUCTURE showed that South- east Tanka people not only had a close genetic relationship with both northern Hans and YRB millet farmers but also possessed southern East Asian ancestry related to AA/HM/TK speakers. Our genomic data and fitted admixture models supported mod- ern Tanka originated from ancient North China and obtained additional gene flow from ancient southern East Asians in the processes of southward migrations.


28. Fine-Scale Genetic Profile and Admixture History of Two Hmong-Mien–Speaking Miao Tribes from Southwest China Inferred from Genome-wide Data

Human Biology, 8 september 2021

Hui Tan, Rui Wang, and Chuan-Chao Wang


As the dominant indigenous minority in southern China, Hmong-Mien-speaking Miao people were thought to be the descendants of Neolithic Yangtze rice farmers. However, the fine-scale population structure and genetic profile of the Miao populations remain unclear due to the limited Miao samples from southern China and Southeast Asia. We genotyped 19 individuals from the two largest Miao tribes in Guizhou Province (Southwest China) via SNP chips and co-analyzed the data with published modern and ancient East Asians. The Guizhou Miao displayed a closer genomic affinity with present-day and Neolithic to Iron Age southern East Asians (SEAs) than with most northern East Asians (NEAs). The genetic substructure within Miao groups was driven by different levels of genetic interaction with other ethnolinguistic groups: Hunan Miao (Central China) harbored higher proportions of NEA-related ancestry; Guizhou Miao (Southwest China) and Vietnam Miao (mainland Southeast Asia) received additional gene flow mainly from surrounding groups with Tai-Kadai–related ancestry. There were also more complex admixture events in the newly studied groups between Guizhou Xijiang Miao and surrounding populations compared with Guizhou Congjiang Miao. The qpAdm model further demonstrated that the primary ancestry of Hunan Miao, Guizhou Miao studied here, and Vietnam Miao derived from ancient SEA-related ancestry (represented by coastal early Neolithic SEA Liangdao2), with the additional gene flow from ancient NEA-related ancestry (represented by spatiotemporally inland Yellow River farmers), with slightly different proportions. Our genomic evidence reveals the complex and distinct demographic history of different Miao tribes.


29. Genetic Admixture History and Forensic Characteristics of Guizhou Sui People Inferred From Autosomal Insertion/Deletion and Genome-Wide Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 10 may 2022


Meiqing Yang, Xiaomin Yang, Zheng Ren, Guanglin He, Han Zhang, Qiyang Wang, Yubo Liu, Hongling Zhang, Jingyan Ji, Jing Chen, Jianxin Guo, Jiang Huang and Chuan-Chao Wang

Abstract: Insertion-deletion (Indel) serves as one of the important markers in forensic personal identification and parentage testing, especially for cases with degraded samples. However, the genetic diversity and forensic features in ethnolinguistically diverse southwestern Chinese populations remain to be explored. Sui, one Tai-Kadai- speaking population residing in Guizhou, has a complex genetic history based on linguistic, historic, and anthropological evidence. In this study, we genotyped 30 Indels from 511 Guizhou Sui individuals and obtained approximately 700,000 genome- wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 15 representative Sui individuals to comprehensively characterize the genetic diversity, forensic characteristics, and genomic landscape of Guizhou Sui people. The estimated forensic statistically allele frequency spectrum and parameters demonstrated that this Indels panel was polymorphic and informative in Tai-Kadai populations in southern China. Results of principal component analysis (PCA), STRUCTURE, and phylogenetic trees showed that Guizhou Sui had a close genetic relationship with geographically close Tai-Kadai and Hmong-Mien people. Furthermore, genomic analysis based on the Fst and f4-statistics further suggested the genetic affinity within southern Chinese Tai-Kadai-speaking populations and a close relationship with geographically adjoining Guizhou populations. Admixture models based on the ADMIXTURE, f4, three-way qpAdm, and ALDER results demonstrated the interaction between the common ancestor for Tai-Kadai/Austronesian, Hmong-Mien, and Austroasiatic speaking populations played a significant role in the formation of modern Tai-Kadai people. We observed a sex-biased influence in Sui people by finding that the dominant Y chromosomal type was a Hmong- Mien specific lineage O2a2a1a2a1a2-N5 but the mtDNA lineages were commonly found in Tai-Kadai populations. The additional southward expansion of millet farmers in the Yellow River Basin has impacted the gene pool of southern populations including Tai- Kadai. The whole-genome sequencing in the future will shed more light on the finer genetic profile of Guizhou populations.


30. Genomic Insights Into the Unique Demographic History and Genetic Structure of Five Hmong-Mien-Speaking Miao and Yao Populations in Southwest China

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 09 June 2022

doi: 10.3389/fevo.2022.849195

Meiqing Yang, Guanglin He, Zheng Ren, Qiyan Wang, Yubo Liu,
Hongling Zhang, Han Zhang, Jing Chen, Jingyan Ji, Jing Zhao, 
nxin Guo, Kongyang Zhu, Xiaomin Yang, Rui Wang, Hao Ma, Chuan-Chao Wang and Jiang Huang



AbstractSouthern China was the original center of multiple ancestral populations related to modern Hmong-Mien, Tai-Kadai, Austroasiatic, and Austronesian people. More recent genetic surveys have focused on the fine-scale genetic structure and admixture history of southern Chinese populations, but the genetic formation and diversification of Hmong-Mien speakers are far from clear due to the sparse genetic sampling. Here, we reported nearly 700,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data from 130 Guizhou Miao and Yao individuals. We used principal component analysis, ADMIXTURE, f-statistics, qpAdm, phylogenetic tree, fineSTRUCTURE, and ALDER to explore the fine-scale population genetic structure and admixture pattern of Hmong-Mien people. The sharing allele patterns showed that our studied populations had a strong genetic affinity with ancient and modern groups from southern and southeastern East Asia. We identified one unique ancestry component maximized in Yao people, which widely existed in other Hmong-Mien-speaking populations in southern China and Southeast Asia and ancient samples of Guangxi. Guizhou Hmong-Mien speakers harbored the dominant proportions of ancestry related to southern indigenous East Asians and minor proportions of northern ancestry related to Yellow River farmers, suggesting the possibility of genetic admixture between Hmong-Mien people and recent southward Sino-Tibetan-related populations. Furthermore, we found a genetic substructure among geographically different Miao and Yao people in Leishan and Songtao. The Yao and Miao people in Leishan harbored more southern East Asian ancestry, but Miao in Songtao received more northern East Asian genetic influence. We observed high mtDNA but low Y-chromosome diversity in studied Hmong-Mien groups, supporting the role of sex- specific residence in influencing human genetic variation. Our data provide valuable clues for further exploring population dynamics in southern China.


31. Genomic Insights Into the Demographic History of the Southern Chinese

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 30 June 2022

doi: 10.3389/fevo.2022.853391

Xiufeng Huang, Zi-Yang Xia, Xiaoyun Bin, Guanglin He, Jianxin Guo, Atif Adnan, Lianfei Yin, Youyi Huang, Jing Zhao, Yidong Yang, Fuwei Ma, Yingxiang Li, Rong Hu, Tianle Yang, Lan-Hai Wei and Chuan-Chao Wang


AbstractSouthern China is the birthplace of rice-cultivating agriculture and different language families and has also witnessed various human migrations that facilitated cultural diffusions. The fine-scale demographic history in situ that forms present-day local populations, however, remains unclear. To comprehensively cover the genetic diversity in East and Southeast Asia, we generated genome-wide SNP data from 211 present-day Southern Chinese and co-analyzed them with ∼1,200 ancient and modern genomes. In Southern China, language classification is significantly associated with genetic variation but with a different extent of predictability, and there is strong evidence for recent shared genetic history particularly in Hmong–Mien and Austronesian speakers. A geography- related genetic sub-structure that represents the major genetic variation in Southern East Asians is established pre-Holocene and its extremes are represented by Neolithic Fujianese and First Farmers in Mainland Southeast Asia. This sub-structure is largely reduced by admixture in ancient Southern Chinese since > ∼2,000 BP, which forms a “Southern Chinese Cluster” with a high level of genetic homogeneity. Further admixture characterizes the demographic history of the majority of Hmong–Mien speakers and some Kra-Dai speakers in Southwest China happened ∼1,500–1,000 BP, coeval to the reigns of local chiefdoms. In Yellow River Basin, we identify a connection of local populations to genetic sub-structure in Southern China with geographical correspondence appearing > ∼9,000 BP, while the gene flow likely closely related to “Southern Chinese Cluster” since the Longshan period (∼5,000–4,000 BP) forms ancestry profile of Han Chinese Cline.


32. Multidisciplinary lines of evidence reveal East/Northeast Asian origins of agriculturalist/pastoralist residents at a Han dynasty military outpost in ancient Xinjiang

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 10 August 2022


Edward Allen, Yao Yu, Xiaomin Yang, Yiran Xu, Panxin Du, Jianxue Xiong, Dian Chen, Xiaohong Tian, Yong Wu, Xiaoli Qin, Pengfei Sheng, Chuan-Chao Wang and Shaoqing Wen



Han/non-Han interactions were engrained among the border regions of ancient Imperial China. Yet, little is known about either the genetic origins or the lifeways of these border peoples. Our study applies tools from ancient deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and stable isotope analysis to the study of a Han dynasty population at the Shichengzi site in modern-day Xinjiang. Isotopic analysis (δ13C and δ15N) of human (n = 8), animal (n = 26), and crop remains (n= 23) from Shichengzi indicated that dietary patterns among site inhabitants could be split among agro-pastoral and agricultural groups based on differences in the collagen 15N ratios. DNA analysis divided the four Shichengzi samples into two groups, with one group primarily harboring the ancient Northeast Asian (ANA) related ancestry, while the other showed a dominant Late Neolithic Yellow River (YR_LN) related ancestry. Both ancient DNA and stable isotope evidence point to the Northeast Asian origins of pastoralists and East Asian origins of Han agriculturalists, who, nonetheless, shared a single burial space at Shichengzi. This study thus provides clear evidence for the multiple origins and identities of populations across the porous border represented by the Han Empire and surrounding regions and proposes a new model for the interpretation of border culture in early Imperial China.


33. Genomic insight into the population history and biological adaptations of high-altitude Tibetan highlanders in Nagqu

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution17 August 2022


Lifeng Ma, Rui Wang, Siwei Feng, Xiaomin Yang, Jing Li, Zhiying Zhang, Haoshuang Zhan, Yao Wang, Ziyang Xia, Chuan-Chao Wang and Longli Kang


Tibetan, one of the largest indigenous populations living in the high-altitude region of the Tibetan Plateau (TP), has developed a suite of physiological adaptation strategies to cope with the extreme highland environment in TP. Here, we reported genome-wide SNP data from 48 Kham-speaking Nagqu Tibetans and analyzed it with published data from 1,067 individuals in 167 modern and ancient populations to characterize the detailed Tibetan subgroup history and population substructure. Overall, the patterns of allele sharing and haplotype sharing suggested (1) the relatively genetic homogeny between the studied Nagqu Tibetans and ancient Nepalese as well as present-day core Tibetans from Lhasa, Nagqu, and Shigatse; and (2) the close relationship between our studied Kham-speaking Nagqu Tibetans and Kham-speaking Chamdo Tibetans. The fitted qpAdm models showed that the studied Nagqu Tibetans could be fitted as having the main ancestry from late Neolithic upper Yellow River millet farmers and deeply diverged lineages from Southern East Asians (represented by Upper Paleolithic Guangxi_Longlin and Laos_Hoabinhian), and a non-neglectable western Steppe herder-related ancestry (∼3%). We further scanned the candidate genomic regions of natural selection for our newly generated Nagqu Tibetans and the published core Tibetans via FST, iHS, and XP-EHH tests. The genes overlapping with these regions were associated with essential human biological functions such as immune response, enzyme activity, signal transduction, skin development, and energy metabolism. Together, our results shed light on the admixture and evolutionary history of Nagqu Tibetan populations.


34. The Shaping and Development of Huaxia (Chinese) Agriculture through the Book of Odes


中国农史 (Agricultural History of China), April 2022


XU Dan

The Book of Odes represents the Chinese language from around the 11th to 6th centuries BC. This article attempts to compare the previous research results of the Book of Odes with recent archaeological discoveries to explore the maturation and development of China’s agriculture. The take-off of a civilization re­ quires material bases. The poems in the Book of Odes, especially the early ones, were collected during the flourishing period of the Chinese civilization, a period which also corresponds to the shaping and develop­ ment of Chinese agriculture. This epoch also matches the time of food globalization (Jones et al. 2011). This period is the stage where the Chinese fanning strides into the "prosperity of five crops" phase. The vocabulary- in the Book o f Odes reflects a typical farming one. I will compare the grain vocabulary in the Book with ar­ chaeological findings. Linguistics and archaeology studies can complement, corroborate or supplement each other. It can also correct some misunderstandings and misinterpretations in the study of the Book of Odes.

徐老师 中国农史 谢辞.png

35. Titre 2Sex-Biased Population Admixture Mediated Subsistence Strategy Transition of Heishuiguo People in Han Dynasty Hexi Corridor

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, March 2022

Jianxue Xiong, Panxin Du, Guoke Chen, Yichen Tao, Boyan Zhou, Yishi Yang, Hui Wang, Yao Yu, Xin Chang, Edward Allen, Chang Sun, Juanjuan Zhou, Yetao Zou, Yiran Xu, Hailiang Meng, Jingze Tan, Hui Li and Shaoqing Wen


The Hexi Corridor was an important arena for culture exchange and human migration between ancient China and Central and Western Asia. During the Han Dynasty (202 BCE–220 CE), subsistence strategy along the corridor shifted from pastoralism to a mixed pastoralist-agriculturalist economy. Yet the drivers of this transition remain poorly understood. In this study, we analyze the Y-chromosome and mtDNA of 31 Han Dynasty individuals from the Heishuiguo site, located in the center of the Hexi Corridor. A high-resolution analysis of 485 Y-SNPs and mitogenomes was performed, with the Heishuiguo population classified into Early Han and Late Han groups. It is revealed that (1) when dissecting genetic lineages, the Yellow River Basin origin haplogroups (i.e., Oα-M117, Oβ-F46, Oγ-IMS-JST002611, and O2-P164+, M134-) reached relatively high frequencies for the paternal gene pools, while haplogroups of north East Asian origin (e.g., D4 and D5) dominated on the maternal side; (2) in interpopulation comparison using PCA and Fst heatmap, the Heishuiguo population shifted from Southern-Northern Han cline to Northern-Northwestern Han/Hui cline with time, indicating genetic admixture between Yellow River immigrants and natives. By comparison, in maternal mtDNA views, the Heishuiguo population was closely clustered with certain Mongolic-speaking and Northwestern Han populations and exhibited genetic continuity through the Han Dynasty, which suggests that Heishuiguo females originated from local or neighboring regions. Therefore, a sex-biased admixture pattern is observed in the Heishuiguo population. Additionally, genetic contour maps also reveal the same male-dominated migration from the East to Hexi Corridor during the Han Dynasty. This is also consistent with historical records, especially excavated bamboo slips. Combining historical records, archeological findings, stable isotope analysis, and paleoenvironmental studies, our uniparental genetic investigation on the Heishuiguo population reveals how male-dominated migration accompanied with lifestyle adjustments brought by these eastern groups may be the main factor affecting the subsistence strategy transition along the Han Dynasty Hexi Corridor.




36. Genetic substructure of Guizhou Tai-Kadai-speaking people inferred from genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms data

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 13 Septembre 2022


Zheng Ren, Meiqing Yang, Xiaoye Jin, Qiyan Wang, Yubo Liu, Hongling Zhang, Jingyan Ji, Chuan-Chao Wang and Jiang Huang


The genome-wide characteristics and admixture history of the Tai-Kadai- speaking populations are essential for understanding the population genetic diversity in southern China. We genotyped about 700,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 239 individuals from six Tai-Kadai-speaking populations residing in the mountainous Guizhou Province of southwestern China. We merged the genome-wide data with available populations and ancients in East and Southeast Asia to infer Tai-Kadai-speaking populations’ admixture history and genetic structure. We observed a genetic substructure within the studied six populations in the PCA, ADMIXTURE, ChromoPainter, GLOBETROTTER, f-statistics, and qpWave analysis. The Dong, Zhuang, and Bouyei people had a strong genetic affinity with other Tai-Kadai-speaking and Austronesian groups in the surrounding area. However, Gelao showed an affinity to Sino-Tibetan groups, and Mulao people were genetically close to Hmong-Mien populations. qpAdm further illuminated that Gelao and Dong_Tongren composited more Han-related ancestry than Dong, Zhuang, Bouyei, and Mulao people. Meanwhile, we observed high frequencies of Y-chromosome haplogroup O in studied Tai-Kadai-speaking groups except for Gelao people with a high haplogroup N frequency. From the maternal side, haplogroup M7 was frequent in studied populations except for Tongren Dong, who had a high frequency of haplogroup B5. Our newly reported data are helpful for further exploring population dynamics in southern China.


37. Cultural and demic co-diffusion of Tubo Empire on Tibetan Plateau

ISCIENCE, 21 November 2022

Kongyang Zhu, Panxin Du, Jiyuan Li, Jianlin Zhang, Xiaojun Hu, Hailiang Meng, Liang Chen, Boyan Zhou, Xiaomin Yang, Jianxue Xiong, Edward Allen, Xiaoying Ren, Yi Ding, Yiran Xu, Xin Chang, Guanghui Dong, Chuan-Chao Wang and Shaoqing Wen

A high point of Tibetan Plateau (TP) civilization, the expansive Tubo Empire (618–842 AD) wielded great influence across ancient western China. However, whether the Tubo expansion was cultural or demic remains unclear due to sparse ancient DNA sampling. Here we reported ten ancient genomes at 0.017- to 0.867-fold coverages from the Dulan site with typical Tubo archaeological culture dating to 1308-1130 BP. Nine individuals from three different grave types have close relationship with previously reported ancient highlanders from the southwestern Himalayas and modern core-Tibetan populations. A Dulan-related Tubo ancestry contributed overwhelmingly (95%-100%) to the formation of modern Tibetans. A genetic outlier with dominant Eurasian steppe-related ancestry suggesting a potential population movement into the Tubo-controlled regions from Central Asia. Together with archeological evidence from burial styles and customs, our study suggested the impact of the Tubo empire on the northeast edge of the TP involved both cultural and demic diffusion.


38. Evolution of the Verb You ( 有 ) in Northern Chinese


Contemporary LinguisticsDecember 2022


​XU Dan

Abstract: This article explores three special uses of you ( 有) to have. None of them has been truly integrated into the “standard”Chinese of northern China, whereas today two of them do occur in the Chinese syntax of the Cansu-Oinghai area. These latter usages have gradually developed and spread in this area. The present paper analyzes why the influence of the Mongolian language on both the northwestern and central regions of China during the 13th  century has had such different consequences.

we analyze three usages of you in Northern Chinese. The pattern “sentence + you, ” which clearly came from Mongolian,  was short-lived in the Central Plain and no longer occurs there today. The use of “you = zai ( 在) ”‘to have = to be’,  from non-sinitic sources, has likewise not been preserved in the Central Plain, despite becoming frequent in the Northwest,  being a syntactic feature of the Cansu-Oinghai linguistic area. Another syntactic feature within the Cansu-Oinghai linguistic area is the marking of the possessor by a dative case, a feature which is shared by both sinitic and non-sinitic languages. The local sinitic languages have gradually absorbed this usage in recent years,  whereas the xining dialect in Oinghai has not yet incorporated it.

In fact, the Chinese dialects of both the Central Plain and the Northwest have evolved differently. we believe that the Chinese dialects of Cansu and Oinghai have been affected not merely by a single language, or even by a single group of languages, but rather by the interaction of multiple languages of different families.  The  study  of history  spanning hundreds of years shows us that while the populations inhabiting the Central Plain have been fully sinicized,  both the Han and non-Han populations of the Northwest have been mutually influenced by bidirectional or even multidirectional assimilation.


39. An Exploration of “Certain vs. Uncertain Mood" in Bao'an from the Evidential Perspective

Minority Languages of China, 
December 2022

Hao LI


Abstract: This paper examines the phenomenon labeled "certain vs. uncertain mood" by Liu Zhaoxiong & Lin Lianyun (1980) in discussing the Bao'an language of the Gansu-Qinghai linguistic area. It is explored here through the lens of evidentiality and egophoricity. The distribution of related markers in Bao'an is discussed at the semantic and pragmatic levels. Our analysis shows a binary egophoric system which is manifested in the copula, the existential verb, as well as the durative and progressive markers of the copula, while the resultative, terminative, and habitual markers can be better explained as expressing direct, indirect, and factual evidentials. 


40. Ancient Genome of Empress Ashina reveals the Northeast Asian origin of Göktürk Khanate

Journal of systematics and evolution, January 2023

doi: 10.1111/jse.12938



Xiaomin Yang, Hailiang Meng, Jianlin Zhang, Yao Yu, Edward Allen, Ziyang Xia, Kongyang Zhu, Panxin Du, Xiaoying Ren, Jianxue Xiong, Xiaoyu Lu, Yi Ding, Sheng Han, Weipeng Liu, Li Jin, Chuan-Chao Wang and Shaoqing Wen

Abstract: We have unveiled the first genomic profile of the ancient Türkic royal family and Chinese historical celebrities. Our genomic analyses of Empress Ashina revealed Göktürk’s Northeast Asian origin (97.7% Northeast Asian ancestry and 2.3% West Eurasian ancestry), refuting the western Eurasian origin and multiple origin hypotheses. We found Ashina shared most genetic affinity with post-Iron Age Tungusic and Mongolic Steppe pastoralists, such as Rouran, Xianbei, Khitan, and Heshui_Mohe, and showed genetic heterogeneity with other ancient Türkic people, suggesting the multiple sources of the Türkic Khanate populations. Furthermore, the limited contribution from ancient Göktürk found in modern Turkic speaking populations once again validates a cultural diffusion model over a demic diffusion model for the spread of Turkic languages.



41. The genetic structure and admixture of Manchus and Koreans in northeast China

Annals of Human Biology, January 2023

DOI: 10.1080/03014460.2023.2182912

Na Sun, Le Tao, Rui Wang, Kongyang Zhu, Xiangjun Hai, Chuan-Chao Wang

Abstract: Background: The fine-scale genetic profiles and population history of Manchus and Koreansremain unclear. Aim: To infer a fine-scale genetic structure and admixture of Manchu and Korean populations.Subjects and methods: We collected and genotyped 16 Manchus from Liaoning and 18 Koreans from Jilin province with about 700K genome-wide SNPs. We analysed the data using principal component analysis (PCA), ADMIXTURE, Fst, TreeMix, f-statistics, qpWave, and qpAdm. Results: Manchus and Koreans showed a genetic affinity with northern East Asians. Chinese Koreans showed a long-term genetic continuity with Bronze Age populations from the West Liao River and had a strong affinity with Koreans in South Korea and Japan. Manchus had a different genetic profile compared with other Tungusic populations since the Manchus received additional genetic influence from the southern Chinese but didn’t have West Eurasian-related admixture. Conclusions: The genetic formation of Manchus involving southern Chinese was consistent with the extensive interactions between Manchus and populations from central and southern China. The large-scale genetic continuity between ancient West Liao River farmers and Koreans highlighted the role farming expansion played in the peopling of the Korean Peninsula.


42. Structural Variability Shows Power-Law Based Organization of Vowel Systems

Front. Psychol., 14 February 2022

Menghan ZhangTao Gong

Abstract: Speech sounds are an essential vehicle of information exchange and meaning expression in approximately 7,000 spoken languages in the world. What functional constraints and evolutionary mechanisms lie behind linguistic diversity of sound systems is under ongoing debate; in particular, it remains conflicting whether there exists any universal relationship between these constraints despite of diverse sounds systems cross-linguistically. Here, we conducted cross-linguistic typological and phylogenetic analyses to address the characteristics of constraints on linguistic diversity of vowel systems. First, the typological analysis revealed a power-law based dependence between the global structural dispersion and the local focalization of vowel systems and validated that such dependence was independent of geographic region, language family, and linguistic affiliation. Second, the phylogenetic analysis further illustrated that the observed dependence resulted from correlated evolutions of these two structural properties, which proceeded in an adaptive process. These results provide empirical evidence that self-organization mechanisms helped shape vowel systems and common functional constraints took effect on the evolution of vowel systems in the world’s languages.

Menghan Zhang and Tao Gong Funding.png

43. Phylogenetic insight into the origin of tones

Proc. R. Soc. B 290, June 2023


Baihui WuHanzhi Zhang and Menghan Zhang

Abstract: The origin of tone, also known as tonogenesis, has long been a topic of great interest in language evolution and human cognition studies. Several linguistic studies of tonal languages have proposed various hypotheses that tonal origin may be related to different changes of phonological structures. However, such hypotheses have not been quantitatively tested in an evolutionary framework. Here, we conducted phylogenetic comparative analyses to assess the likelihood of different hypotheses of tonogenetic mechanisms across 106 Sino-Tibetan languages, of which approximately 70% are tonal. Our results showed that the presence of tones has a strong phylogenetic pattern and that Proto-Sino-Tibetan languages were most likely non-tonal. Our findings identified that tonal origin was strongly associated with the evolution of specific phonological structures, such as the loss of syllable-final consonants and voice quality on vowels. Furthermore, we found that tonal origin probably did not influence the diversification rates of Sino-Tibetan languages. These findings enabled us to better understand that tone arose as a compensatory mechanism for the structural organization and evolution of languages.

Menghan Zhang 2023 06 Funding.jpg

44. Genetic admixture of Chinese Tajik people inferred from genome‐wide array genotyping and mitochondrial genome sequencing

Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 30 May 2023


Jing Zhao, Qiao Wu, Xinhong Bai, Edward Allen, Mengge Wang, Guanglin He, Jianxin GuoXiaomin Yang, Jianxue Xiong, Zixi Jiang, Xiaoyan Ji, Hui Wang, Jingze Tan, Shaoqing Wen, and Chuan‐Chao Wang


Abstract: Chinese Tajiks are an Indo-Iranian-speaking population in Xinjiang, northwest China. Although the complex demographic history has been characterized, the ancestral sources and genetic admixture of Indo-Iranian-speaking groups in this region remain poorly understood. We here provide the genome-wide genotyping data for over 700 000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and mtDNA multiplex sequencing data in 64 Chinese male Tajik individuals from two dialect groups, Wakhi and Selekur. We applied principal component analysis (PCA), ADMIXTURE, f-statistics, treemix, qpWave/qpAdm, Admixture-induced Linkage Disequilibrium for Evolutionary Relationships (ALDER), and Fst analyses to infer a fine-scale population genetic structure and admixture history. Our results reveal that Chinese Tajiks showed the closest affinity and similar genetic admixture pattern with ancient Xinjiang populations, especially Xinjiang samples in the historical era. Chinese Tajiks also have gene flow from European and Neolithic Iran farmers-related populations. We observed a genetic substructure in the two Tajik dialect groups. The Selekur-speaking group who lived in the county had more gene flow from East Asians than Wakhi-speaking people who inhabited the village. These results document the population movements contributed to the influx of diverse ancestries in the Xinjiang region.


45. Inferring the population history of Kyrgyz in Xinjiang, Northwest China from genome-wide array genotyping

American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 13 June 2023

Bubibatima HaliliXiaomin YangRui WangKongyang ZhuXiangjun Hai and 
Chuan-Chao Wang

Objectives: Xinjiang plays a vital role in the trans-Eurasian population migration, language diffusion, and culture and technology exchange. However, the underrepresentation of Xinjiang's genomes has hindered a more comprehensive understanding of Xinjiang's genetic structure and population history.

Materials and Methods: We collected and genotyped 70 southern Xinjiang's Kyrgyz (SXJK) individuals and combined the data with modern and ancient Eurasians published. We used allele-frequency methods, including PCA, ADMIXTURE, f-statistics, qpWave/qpAdm, ALDER, Treemix, and haplotype-shared methods including shared-IBD segments, fineSTRUCTURE, and GLOBETROTTER to unveil the fine-scale population structure and reconstruct admixture history.

Results: We identified genetic substructure within the SXJK population with subgroups showing different genetic affinities to West and East Eurasians. All SXJK subgroups were suggested to have close genetic relationships with surrounding Turkic-speaking groups that is, Uyghur, Kyrgyz from north Xinjiang and Tajikistan, and Chinese Kazakh, suggesting a shared ancestry among those populations. Outgroup-f3 and symmetrical f4 statistics showed a high genetic affinity of SXJK to present-day Tungusic, Mongolic-speaking populations and Ancient Northeast Asian (ANA) related groups. Allele sharing and haplotype sharing profiles revealed the east–west admixture pattern of SXJK. The qpAdm-based admixture models showed that SXJK derived ancestry from East Eurasian (ANA and East Asian, 42.7%–83.3%) and West Eurasian (Western Steppe herders and Central Asian, 16.7%–57.3%), the recent east–west admixture event could be traced to 1000 years ago based on ALDER and GLOBETROTTER analysis.

Discussion: The high genetic affinity of SXJK to present-day Tungusic and Mongolic-speaking populations and short-shared IBD segments indicated their shared common ancestry. SXJK harbored a close genetic affinity to ANA-related populations, indicating the Northeast Asian origin of SXJK. The West and East Eurasian admixture models observed in SXJK further provided evidence of the dynamic admixture history in Xinjiang. The east–west admixture pattern and the identified ancestral makeup of SXJK suggested a genetic continuity from some Iron Age Xinjiang populations to present-day SXJK.


46. Revisiting the archaeological investigations of rice domestication in China during 10,000–7,000 BP in a human behavioral context

Front. Earth Sci, 28 September 2023
http// doi: 10.3389/feart.2023.1180376


Abstract: In East Asian archaeology, initial domestication and early dispersal of rice have continuously attracted scholarly interest in the recent decade, which has generated abundant new materials and revised opinions. This paper starts with a refreshed understanding of the domestication concept that emphasizes the dominant role of human behavior in the mutualistic relationship. A thorough review of the approaches to and data on reconstructing the rice story during 10,000–7,000 BP demonstrates the causally chained changes in phenotype, genotype, and human behavior in the establishment of domestication. Future studies will benefit from the revised paradigm, which has great potential to extract archaeological information to explain multiple mechanisms in rice domestication.


47. Forager-farmer transition at the crossroads of East and Southeast Asia 4900 years ago

Science Bulletin, 16 August 2023

Minmin Ma, Minxia Lu, Rui Sun, Zhonghua Zhu, Dorian Q. Fuller, Jianxin, Guo, Guanglin He,  Xiaomin Yang, Lingling Tan, Yongxiu Lu, Jiajia Dong, Ruiliang Liu, Jishuai Yang, Bo Li, Tiannan Guo, Xiaorui Li, Dongyue Zhao, Ying Zhang, Chuan-Chao Wang, Guanghui Dong

Abstract: The southward expansion of East Asian farmers profoundly influenced the social evolution of Southeast Asia by introducing cereal agriculture. However, the timing and routes of cereal expansion in key regions are unclear due to limited empirical evidence. Here we report macrofossil, microfossil, multiple isotopic (C/N/Sr/O) and paleoproteomic data directly from radiocarbon-dated human samples, which were unearthed from a site in Xingyi in central Yunnan and which date between 7000 and 3300 a BP. Dietary isotopes reveal the earliest arrival of millet ca. 4900 a BP, and greater reliance on plant and animal agriculture was indicated between 3800 and 3300 a BP. The dietary differences between hunter-gatherer and agricultural groups are also evident in the metabolic and immune system proteins analysed from their skeletal remains. The results of paleoproteomic analysis indicate that humans had divergent biological adaptations, with and without farming. The combined application of isotopes, archaeobotanical data and proteomics provides a new approach to documenting dietary and health changes across major subsistence transitions.


48. Ancient genomes reveal millet farming-related demic diffusion from the Yellow River into southwest China


Current Biology, 2023


Le Tao, Haibing Yuan, Kongyang Zhu, Xiangyu, Jianxin Guo, Rui Min, Haifeng He, Doudou Cao, Xiaomin Yang, Zhiqing Zhou, Rui Wang, Deyun Zhao, Hao Ma, Jian Chen, Jing Zhao, Yingfu Li, Yuanhong He, Dehao Suo, Ruojing Zhang, Shuai Li, Lan Li, Feng Yang, Haichao Li,

Liang Zhang, Li Jin, and Chuan-Chao Wang

Abstract: The study of southwest China is vital for understanding the dispersal and development of farming because of the coexistence of millet and rice in this region since the Neolithic period. However, the process of the Neolithic transition in southwest China is largely unknown, mainly due to the lack of ancient DNA from the Neolithic period. Here, we report genome-wide data from 11 human samples from the Gaoshan and Haimen-kou sites with mixed farming of millet and rice dating to between 4,500 and 3,000 years before present in southwest China. The two ancient groups derived approximately 90% of their ancestry from the Neolithic Yellow River farmers, suggesting a demic diffusion of millet farming to southwest China. We inferred their re-maining ancestry to be derived from a Ho`abı`nhian-related hunter-gatherer lineage. We did not detect rice farmer-related ancestry in the two ancient groups, which indicates that they likely adopted rice farming without genetic assimilation. We, however, observed rice farmer-related ancestry in the formation of some present-day Tibeto-Burman populations. Our results suggested the occurrence of both demic and cultural diffusion in the development of Neolithic mixed farming in some parts of southwest China.


49. Phylogenetic evidence reveals early Kra-Dai divergence and dispersal in the late Holocene

Nature Communications, 30 October 2023

Yuxin Tao, Yuancheng Wei, Jiaqi Ge, Yan Pan, Wenmin Wang, Qianqi Bi , Pengfei Sheng , Changzhong Fu , Wuyun Pan, Li Jin, Hong-Xiang Zheng, Menghan Zhang

Abstract: Studying language evolution brings a crucial perspective to bear on questions of human prehistory. As the most linguistically diverse region on earth, East and Southeast Asia have witnessed extensive sociocultural and ethnic contacts among different language communities. Especially, the Kra-Dai language family exhibits tremendous socio-cultural importance in these regions. Due to limited historical accounts, however, there are several controversies on their linguistic relatedness, ambiguities regarding the divergence time, and uncertainties on the dispersal patterns. To address these issues, here we apply Bayesian phylogenetic methods to analyze the largest lexical dataset containing 646 cognate sets compiled for 100 Kra-Dai languages. Our dated phylogenetic tree showed their initial divergence occurring approximately 4000 years BP. Phylogeographic results supported the early Kra-Dai language dispersal from the Guangxi-Guangdong area of South China towards Mainland Southeast Asia. Coupled with genetic, archaeological, paleoecologic, and paleoclimatic data, we demonstrated that the Kra-Dai language diversification could have coincided with their demic diffusion and agricultural spread shaped by the global climate change in the late Holocene. The interdisciplinary alignments shed light on reconstructing the prehistory of Kra-Dai languages and provide an indispensable piece of the puzzle for further studying prehistoric human activities in East and Southeast Asia.


​50. Third-person Pronoun and Possessive Suffix in Northwestern Chinese (西北汉语里的第三人称代词及领属后缀)

Historical Linguistics Research (历史语言学研究)octobre 2023

XU Dan


Abstract:This paper analyzes two phenomena:1.The ongoing variation of the third-person pronouns used in the Han and non-Han languages spoken in the Gansu-Qinghai area;2. The use of the pattern “Noun+third-person possessive suffix”in a few Northwestern Chinese dialects. Except for ta, the third-person pronouns used n the Gansu-Qinghai area have a rich inventory some having come from non-Han languages that borrowed from cach other, thus forming a unique Matter Borrowing network. The “possessive suffix”usage attested in some Northwestern regions has a deeper time, being a residue of the Tungusic, Mongolic, and Turkic languages which influenced the Chinese languages at  different periods. Whereas the phenomenon as observed in Shaanbei is probably an instance of Pattern Borrowing from the aforementioned languages, the current state of the Tangwang language suggests that Matter Borrowing and Pattern Borrowing should have worked hand in hand.

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