January 24, 2008

North vs. South differences in China detectable in mtDNA but not in Y chromosomes

European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 23 January 2008; doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201998
A spatial analysis of genetic structure of human populations in China reveals distinct difference between maternal and paternal lineages

Fuzhong Xue et al.

Analyses of archeological, anatomical, linguistic, and genetic data suggested consistently the presence of a significant boundary between the populations of north and south in China. However, the exact location and the strength of this boundary have remained controversial. In this study, we systematically explored the spatial genetic structure and the boundary of north–south division of human populations using mtDNA data in 91 populations and Y-chromosome data in 143 populations. Our results highlight a distinct difference between spatial genetic structures of maternal and paternal lineages. A substantial genetic differentiation between northern and southern populations is the characteristic of maternal structure, with a significant uninterrupted genetic boundary extending approximately along the Huai River and Qin Mountains north to Yangtze River. On the paternal side, however, no obvious genetic differentiation between northern and southern populations is revealed.


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