September 23, 2011

Bronze age Y-chromosomes and mtDNA from Liao River (northern China)

From the paper:
The dominant haplogroup in the Dadianzi people was D4 shared by
five individuals who were associated with four different haplotypes.

The other haplotype belonging to haplogroup D in the Dadianzi population
was designated as D5 by the mutation at site 16 189 (T to C).
The haplogroup M7c included two haplotypes, which were shared by two
individuals in ancient Dadianzi people. The other haplogroups, including
A4, F1b, G1a, M9a, M10 and M8z, were each present in one individual.

Seven male samples were chosen for Y chromosome SNPs among
the 14 individuals. Three samples (S1, S2 and S13) exhibited the
mutations M89C-T, M9C-G, M214T-C and M231G-A, which
were attributed to haplogroup N ( N1C). Two samples (S8 and S12)
exhibited the mutations: M89C-T, M9C-G, M175-5 bp del and
M122T-C, belonging to haplogroup O3 (M122). We failed to obtain
any product from two samples (S5 and S14) (Table 3).


Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication 22 September 2011; doi: 10.1038/jhg.2011.102

Genetic characteristics and migration history of a bronze culture population in the West Liao-River valley revealed by ancient DNA

Hongjie Li et al.

In order to study the genetic characteristics of the Lower Xiajiadian culture (LXC) population, a main bronze culture branch in northern China dated 4500–3500 years ago, two uniparentally inherited markers, mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome single-nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs), were analyzed on 14 human remains excavated from the Dadianzi site. The 14 sequences, which contained 13 haplotypes, were assigned to 9 haplogroups, and Y-SNP typing of 5 male individuals assigned them to haplogroups N (M231) and O3 (M122). The results indicate that the LXC population mainly included people carrying haplogroups from northern Asia who had lived in this region since the Neolithic period, as well as genetic evidence of immigration from the Central Plain. Later in the Bronze Age, part of the population migrated to the south away from a cooler climate, which ultimately influenced the gene pool in the Central Plain. Thus, climate change is an important factor, which drove the population migration during the Bronze Age in northern China. Based on these results, the local genetic continuity did not seem to be affected by outward migration, although more data are needed especially from other ancient populations to determine the influence of return migration on genetic continuity.

15 comments:

Rufus said...

This is a clear case of science getting mixed up in politics.
The area had not been "Chinese". It became Chinese only in the 20th century.

This area had been traditionally inhabited by various northern nomads until the 20th century.

I don't think the resolution was high enough to indicate a precise origin. Rather "central plain" had to be invoked in order to give the readers an impression that the population was in some way connected to Han Chinese people.

Rufus said...

I am not sure why they thought that the 3 N(Y chr)s were N1c since the markers that define that group(M46/Tat P105 etc) were not among those that were typed.

terryt said...

"This is a clear case of science getting mixed up in politics.
The area had not been 'Chinese'. It became Chinese only in the 20th century".

Surely what the region is actually 'called' is irelevant to the conclusions.

"This area had been traditionally inhabited by various northern nomads until the 20th century".

The authors do say, 'Later in the Bronze Age, part of the population migrated to the south away from a cooler climate'.

"Rather 'central plain' had to be invoked in order to give the readers an impression that the population was in some way connected to Han Chinese people".

I have long been sure that the modern East Asian haplogroups spread from the original Neolithic of East Asia. This paper goes some way to supporting that idea. Viz.:

"the local genetic continuity did not seem to be affected by outward migration"

Rufus said...

"Surely what the region is actually 'called' is irelevant to the conclusions."

But it is relevant to their agenda.
The same authors in different papers talk about such nonsense as "Han Chinese Neolithic" in the same region. It is pretty clear what they were thinking.

And read the fine print; the outward migration they ecknowledge is in the Bronze age.

"The results indicate that the LXC population mainly included people carrying haplogroups from northern Asia who had lived in this region since the Neolithic period, as well as genetic evidence of immigration from the Central Plain."

Apparently they concede that the Ns were indigenous or from the north while O3s came as Neolithic immigration from "Central Plain". They have no evidence for the latter except the well known state-sponsored nationalistic "border project". O3 probably came from the south but their claim it came from the Central Plain(which is synonymous with "China" in their language) is a pure political concoction.

Lathdrinor said...

They do provide evidence of the latter, in two forms: 1) archaeologically, pottery forms that are found first in the Erlitou cultural region in Henan (ie "Central Plains") appear in Lower Xiajiadian around this period and 2) mtDNA data shows the appearance, in Lower Xiajiadian, of a relatively sparsely distributed (except in the "Central Plains") haplogroup that they argue had its source in the "Central Plains."

Whether you agree with the authors - and there is much to criticize - you should at least endeavor to read the full article before passing scathing judgment. If I were to operate as you do in dismissing an article based on the perceived agenda of its authors, then I would have to dismiss much of your comments as you seem to have an agenda against the Chinese and the Persians. Pot, meet kettle?

Rufus said...

What you think are evidences are not evidences at all in the eyes of the academic community outside China.
Certain styles in potteries do not quality as evidences of certain admixture in the ethnogenesis.(that way you can claim just about anything) That is the case at least outside China's infamous "border project".

M10 that was presented as typically Chinese(unlike other Northern East Asian lineages found on the site) is not typically Chinese at all.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0004210

It is absent among 40 Han Chinese from Beijing but is present among ethnic Koreans in China, Thais,Vietnames, Koreans.(No other Han Chinese typed)

But even if it was "typically Chinese" it would be outside academic decorum to claim any sort of relationship based on a frequency among mere 15 samples. It just shows how much they had to strain themselves to reach the conclusion they wanted even before they started writing the piece.

This is a political paper not scientific.
As for your snide remark about pot and kettle... oh yeah even if that was the case you wouldn't know enough about this subject to call it either way.

Lathdrinor said...

I was pointing out your tendency to pass judgment without having even read the paper, not agreeing with the paper.

Though, I do know enough about the subject to poke holes at your counter-arguments. First, that the paper was published in the Journal of Human Genetics - far from being a Chinese publication - is proof enough that it did go through the peer review process from non-Chinese academics. Hence, while probably flawed, the arguments rendered in the article were not so unsound that the international establishment found it unworthy. Would you accuse the Journal of Human Genetics of upholding Chinese political bias?

Second, I'm fairly sure that the writers of the article used "Central Plain" to refer to a specific regional population, and not generic "Han Chinese," when describing M10. Therefore, your example of "Beijing Han" is both inappropriate and irrelevant. In fact, I'd say that this is a case of assuming your own assumptions - you thought the writers used "Central Plain" as a proxy for "Han Chinese," and so went out and found a sample of "Han Chinese" that did not possess it, even though it is specifically written in the article that M10 was unique in its elevated distribution in the "Central Plain" population, and rare elsewhere! A closer reading would have helped, which is after all the entire point: read before you judge.

Rufus said...

Journal of Human Genetics is a Japanese journal even though some of the editors may be from the West.
It is notoriously bad. They tend to accept most papers without review as long as the outward form looks "academic".
For instance one Chinese paper in the early 2000's had samples that were M9+ and M89- as well as other obvious and elementary errors.
Now well known one chinese researcher used to be quite awful too. He estimated the age of O3 at the staggeing 60000 years. That paper was published in American Journal of Human Genetics, a far more respected journal. Actually I know how he calculated it and I was "laughing out loud".

These journals' editors are geneticists and biochemists. Many of them know next to nothing about population genetics and archaeology.

Please don't try to appeal to authority.

As for M10... China is a large country. If you want a region that has a lot of M10 you will get it. That is not science.
Also their definition of "Central Plain" is unusually large. They probably did it so that they can include the region and ancient remains that had a lot of M10.

Their approach is like fiding R1b in ancient Near East, say Syria, and noting that the highest frequency of R1b is found in Ireland. And they also found styles of pottery that had certain theme or sub-style that looked like the ones found in Ireland slightly earlier.

So did they detect a signal of immigration from Ireland to Syria?

Also try to find where Jilin university is and how it is the center of "Northeast Project".
Also try to read their previous papers and judge for yourself how qualified they are.

By the way Beijing is right next to their "central plain"(that is how large their central plain is). If you think mtDNA profiles are so well locally preserved from Neolithic to present... and has such a sharp boundary, I encourage you to write a paper on it.

Also... I did not fish for the data that had no M10 among Han Chinese. When i google-searched M10 mtDNA that was the first thing that came up.

Lathdrinor said...

M10 in Lower Xiajiadian is not necessarily a result of migration from the Central Plain - this much can be argued. But it is not ridiculous to suggest that it could be, especially if the author are aware of other, archaeological signs of inter-regional interaction. It doesn't exactly make the paper a "political paper," either - no more than anything else that tries to connect genetics with pre-history.

To this end, your central reason for rejecting the authors' ideas still seems to be that "it's from China and probably related to the Northeast China Project."

Well, in that case, I think I have a good grasp on your own political background. And I have a feeling I've seen you before, around here, albeit under a different alias.

Rufus said...

Lathdrinor says "I think I have a good grasp on your own political background. And I have a feeling I've seen you before, around here, albeit under a different alias."

You aptly described yourself more than anyone else. Aren't you the one who dismissed Sergei Starostin out of hand as a fringe loon because he does not say nice things about Chinese?

"Past Human Migration in East Asia" is a book that Underhill and Hammer also contibuted to. Roger Blench - who says that Yangshao was probably Sino-Tibetan - also has this to say

"
An interesting example of the politicization of archaeological narratives is the
description by Da-Shun (1995) of the Hongshan culture of Liaoning Province,
...Da-Shun sees this as ‘the dawn of Chinese civilization’ and attempts
to link it with that civilization through a series of typological indicators...The reality is that there is no evidence that this region would have been Sinitic speaking
at this period; it is much more credible that the inhabitants would have
been Altaic speakers, either speaking pre-Mongolic or Koreanic languages."

Roger Blench, Ilia Peiros even Sergei Starostin are far more respected scholars than any of the Chinese "scientists" you are trying to defend.

Could you please apply the pot and kettle paradigm to yourself?

Onur said...

Aren't you the one who dismissed Sergei Starostin out of hand as a fringe loon because he does not say nice things about Chinese?

Sergei Starostin's ideas are fringe enough without his ideas on Chinese.

Lathdrinor said...

@Rufus I think you are mistaken, on at least two levels.

First, I did not dismiss Sergei Starostin (indeed, I'd be disingenuous to do so, since he and his disciples are perhaps the firmest proponents of the Altaic language family that I take as granted). I merely pointed out that his ideas regarding the Yangshao and Sino-Caucasian are not generally accepted by linguists, and have serious flaws. That is not the same as dismissing him as a scholar. I hope you understand the difference.

Second, I am confused as to why you think Sergei Starostin and Roger Blench are so "anti-Chinese" that you would quote them against the "Chinese scholars" that I supposedly defend. For the record, I defend good research, whether it comes from Chinese or non-Chinese. And moreover, Starostin and Blench's imagination of a Chinese conquest elite sweeping across East Asia from the Himalayas is probably no less "pro-Chinese" than existing theories of gradual native aggregation in the North China Plain. The only issue would be that it doesn't quite reflect the archaeological and genetic records, but then again, language spread doesn't always reflect such records.

Finally, I can guarantee you that I am not a previous poster here. If the same can be said for you, then just say it.

After all, I have not always been right in my character judgments, and am open to corrections.

Rufus said...

Starostin's Sino-Caucasian theory and Altaic Yangshao have nothing to do with each other. You brought up the former just to discredit Starostin.

Chinese find the legitimacy in their newly acquired lands from their claim of being there previously than by the right of conquest. merely because the latter is not feasible since just about everyone conquered China in the last 2000 years.

So starostin's idea is a big blow even to their claim of descent from Yum Hwang and Roger Blench's idea is a serious mockery of their claiming Hongshan culture which was supposed to make Manchuria and Mongolia theirs "originally".

If you don't know anything about "border project" please be silent.

Lathdrinor said...

@Rufus so this is about territorial claims?

If so, I don't think anyone in the world would dispute the Chinese's claims to the North China Plain, whether the ST people arrived there 4-5,000 years ago, or whether they were native to it since the early Neolithic. Towards this end, the idea that the Chinese came to possess their very own homeland by virtue of ancient conquest aids Chinese expansionist ideology more than hurts it, since it justifies on one hand territorial acquisition by force ("the homeland can be expanded"), and on the other provides the Chinese with an easier way to "claim" Tibet, the Himalayas, and Northeast India ("people there are our brethren").

So your idea that Starostin is being "anti-Chinese" in a political sense is still simply absurd. I fail to see why you're suddenly bringing up Blench's criticism of Guo Da-shun over Hongshan while discussing Starostin's ideas about Yangshao, as well. That seems very much a red herring, designed to invoke a present-day controversy over recently acquired territory as if it were in any way comparable to the North China Plain, for which there is no dispute whatsoever. I can only imagine that it reflects a deep-seated political concern on your part over said issue, which colors your perception of every other issue even remotely connected to it.

terryt said...

"If you don't know anything about 'border project' please be silent".

I know nothing about it. Please enlighten us.