• 1 Division of Population Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan
  • 2 Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, Sunway City, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 3 National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani, West Bengal, India
  • 4 Department of Anthropology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, The Philippines
  • 5 Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
  • 6 Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • 7 Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan
  • 8 Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Genome Biol Evol, 2017 08 01;9(8):2013-2022.
PMID: 28854687 DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evx118


Human presence in Southeast Asia dates back to at least 40,000 years ago, when the current islands formed a continental shelf called Sundaland. In the Philippine Islands, Peninsular Malaysia, and Andaman Islands, there exist indigenous groups collectively called Negritos whose ancestry can be traced to the "First Sundaland People." To understand the relationship between these Negrito groups and their demographic histories, we generated genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data in the Philippine Negritos and compared them with existing data from other populations. Phylogenetic tree analyses show that Negritos are basal to other East and Southeast Asians, and that they diverged from West Eurasians at least 38,000 years ago. We also found relatively high traces of Denisovan admixture in the Philippine Negritos, but not in the Malaysian and Andamanese groups, suggesting independent introgression and/or parallel losses involving Denisovan introgressed regions. Shared genetic loci between all three Negrito groups could be related to skin pigmentation, height, facial morphology and malarial resistance. These results show the unique status of Negrito groups as descended from the First Sundaland People.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.