A little ADMIXTURE on Uygurs

By Razib Khan | September 9, 2012 2:01 am

Prompted by a comment below I decided to “quick & dirty” double-check whether the Uygurs’ East Asian ancestry was more Han or Japanese in affinity. My recollection was that it was more shifted toward sub-Siberian populations, such as Mongolians, who also are suggested to have affinities with Koreans and Japanese. My method was simple, I ran ADMIXTURE in supervised mode with a sample of 10 Han and 10 Japanese I randomly yanked out of the HGDP along with Uygurs, and assorted other groups. I left Uygurs, Chuvash, Turks, and Mongolians “free” to be linear combinations of the ancestry of other populations. The marker set was 290,000 (I pruned somewhat from 500,000+), and K = 11 (there were 11 populations which were part of the supervised run). It looks like the Uygurs have more of an affinity to the Japanese, or at least their East Asian ancestors did.

Of course, it could be that I sampled an unrepresentative class of 10 Han or Japanese. Much more likely in the former case, because the Han do exhibit some north-south structure. But I doubt it, I’ve seen similar results in other runs. A few other things to note is that the Uygurs have representations of the Pathan and Kannadi (South Indian) components. The last result is robust, and suggests the bare hint of “Ancestral South Indian” in the Uygur. I think this is evidence of gene flow over the mountains from Northwest India in historical times. Finally, there is the expected representation of European-like elements, but a substantial West Asian signal as well. The “West Eurasian” element which can not be attributed to later Indian & Iranian influence probably came with Indo-Europeans, and the results from the Uygur seem to support the supposition that many of the Indo-European groups were admixed between these two broad components.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Could the Indian genetic influence in Central Asia in general could be explained by BMAC contacts with the Indus Valley civilization? Xinjiang itself was likely unsettled during this period, but later connections between the Tocaharians and Indo-Iranian Central Asia could have diffused the element at a later point.

  • Rasko

    Interesting stuff, it looks like their combined “South Asian” is the biggest part of their non-East Eurasian admixture. I’ve looked at analyses of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Uyghurs and Turkmen and I consistently see a three-way split in their non-East Eurasian components between “North European”, “South Asian” and “West Asian”. Perhaps with ADMIXTOOLS we could see some dates of the admixtures.

    Razib, could you do an ADMIXTURE run on Kazakhs please? I’d surely love to see that!

  • Mitch

    Could the fact that both Uygurs and Mongols have an affinity to the Japanese be seen as evidence in favor of the Altaic languages hypothesis?


  • http://easttukey.uy East Turkistan

    We reject the name of Xinjiang…..,the name is East Turkistan….

  • Karl Zimmerman

    Upon further thought, the South Asian element might be explained by the Yuezhi</A./Kushans. Not only did the Kushan Empire eventually conquer much of the region, it’s also where their own ancestors came from a few centuries before. Given the Kushans basically controlled all of the modern Pashtun realm, a component of Pashtun DNA could be Kushan, and therefore ultimately “indigenous” to East Turkestan as well. Much of the remainder could be due to generalized mixing during the height of the empire.

  • http://www.uyghurcongress.org Save Uyghur

    We Uyghurs reject name of Xinjiang ( which mean new territory ). Our country name is East Turkistan . East Turkistanis exsit before commies occupation.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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