Genetic history of present-day Indians
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) explores the genetic history of present-day Indians and the peopling of the Indian subcontinent. Researchers have previously suggested that mainland India’s current population largely descended from two ancient groups, namely ancestral north and south Indians. Partha Majumder and colleagues analyzed genome-wide variations from 367 unrelated Indians belonging to 20 ethnic groups, including two tribal groups from the outlying Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as data from the Human Genome Diversity Panel, a repository of genomic data representing hundreds of people worldwide.
The authors discerned four major ancestral populations in mainland India. In addition to ancestral north and south Indians, the authors discovered Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman ancestries. Unlike mainland Indians, the hunter-gatherers of the Andaman archipelago likely share ancestry with present-day Pacific Islanders, representing a fifth ancestry in India. Read more.