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1.  Austro-Asiatic Tribes of Northeast India Provide Hitherto Missing Genetic Link between South and Southeast Asia 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(11):e1141.
Northeast India, the only region which currently forms a land bridge between the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, has been proposed as an important corridor for the initial peopling of East Asia. Given that the Austro-Asiatic linguistic family is considered to be the oldest and spoken by certain tribes in India, Northeast India and entire Southeast Asia, we expect that populations of this family from Northeast India should provide the signatures of genetic link between Indian and Southeast Asian populations. In order to test this hypothesis, we analyzed mtDNA and Y-Chromosome SNP and STR data of the eight groups of the Austro-Asiatic Khasi from Northeast India and the neighboring Garo and compared with that of other relevant Asian populations. The results suggest that the Austro-Asiatic Khasi tribes of Northeast India represent a genetic continuity between the populations of South and Southeast Asia, thereby advocating that northeast India could have been a major corridor for the movement of populations from India to East/Southeast Asia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001141
PMCID: PMC2065843  PMID: 17989774
2.  Phylogeography of mtDNA haplogroup R7 in the Indian peninsula 
Background
Human genetic diversity observed in Indian subcontinent is second only to that of Africa. This implies an early settlement and demographic growth soon after the first 'Out-of-Africa' dispersal of anatomically modern humans in Late Pleistocene. In contrast to this perspective, linguistic diversity in India has been thought to derive from more recent population movements and episodes of contact. With the exception of Dravidian, which origin and relatedness to other language phyla is obscure, all the language families in India can be linked to language families spoken in different regions of Eurasia. Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome evidence has supported largely local evolution of the genetic lineages of the majority of Dravidian and Indo-European speaking populations, but there is no consensus yet on the question of whether the Munda (Austro-Asiatic) speaking populations originated in India or derive from a relatively recent migration from further East.
Results
Here, we report the analysis of 35 novel complete mtDNA sequences from India which refine the structure of Indian-specific varieties of haplogroup R. Detailed analysis of haplogroup R7, coupled with a survey of ~12,000 mtDNAs from caste and tribal groups over the entire Indian subcontinent, reveals that one of its more recently derived branches (R7a1), is particularly frequent among Munda-speaking tribal groups. This branch is nested within diverse R7 lineages found among Dravidian and Indo-European speakers of India. We have inferred from this that a subset of Munda-speaking groups have acquired R7 relatively recently. Furthermore, we find that the distribution of R7a1 within the Munda-speakers is largely restricted to one of the sub-branches (Kherwari) of northern Munda languages. This evidence does not support the hypothesis that the Austro-Asiatic speakers are the primary source of the R7 variation. Statistical analyses suggest a significant correlation between genetic variation and geography, rather than between genes and languages.
Conclusion
Our high-resolution phylogeographic study, involving diverse linguistic groups in India, suggests that the high frequency of mtDNA haplogroup R7 among Munda speaking populations of India can be explained best by gene flow from linguistically different populations of Indian subcontinent. The conclusion is based on the observation that among Indo-Europeans, and particularly in Dravidians, the haplogroup is, despite its lower frequency, phylogenetically more divergent, while among the Munda speakers only one sub-clade of R7, i.e. R7a1, can be observed. It is noteworthy that though R7 is autochthonous to India, and arises from the root of hg R, its distribution and phylogeography in India is not uniform. This suggests the more ancient establishment of an autochthonous matrilineal genetic structure, and that isolation in the Pleistocene, lineage loss through drift, and endogamy of prehistoric and historic groups have greatly inhibited genetic homogenization and geographical uniformity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-227
PMCID: PMC2529308  PMID: 18680585
3.  Genetic evidence supports linguistic affinity of Mlabri - a hunter-gatherer group in Thailand 
BMC Genetics  2010;11:18.
Background
The Mlabri are a group of nomadic hunter-gatherers inhabiting the rural highlands of Thailand. Little is known about the origins of the Mlabri and linguistic evidence suggests that the present-day Mlabri language most likely arose from Tin, a Khmuic language in the Austro-Asiatic language family. This study aims to examine whether the genetic affinity of the Mlabri is consistent with this linguistic relationship, and to further explore the origins of this enigmatic population.
Results
We conducted a genome-wide analysis of genetic variation using more than fifty thousand single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) typed in thirteen population samples from Thailand, including the Mlabri, Htin and neighboring populations of the Northern Highlands, speaking Austro-Asiatic, Tai-Kadai and Hmong-Mien languages. The Mlabri population showed higher LD and lower haplotype diversity when compared with its neighboring populations. Both model-free and Bayesian model-based clustering analyses indicated a close genetic relationship between the Mlabri and the Htin, a group speaking a Tin language.
Conclusion
Our results strongly suggested that the Mlabri share more recent common ancestry with the Htin. We thus provided, to our knowledge, the first genetic evidence that supports the linguistic affinity of Mlabri, and this association between linguistic and genetic classifications could reflect the same past population processes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-11-18
PMCID: PMC2858090  PMID: 20302622
4.  An Updated Phylogeny of the Human Y-Chromosome Lineage O2a-M95 with Novel SNPs 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e101020.
Though the Y-chromosome O2a-M95 lineage is one of the major haplogroups present in eastern Asian populations, especially among Austro-Asiatic speaking populations from Southwestern China and mainland Southeast Asia, to date its phylogeny lacks structure due to only one downstream SNP marker (M88) assigned to the lineage. A recent array-capture-based Y chromosome sequencing of Asian samples has yielded a variety of novel SNPs purportedly belonging to the O2a-M95 lineage, but their phylogenetic positions have yet to be determined. In this study, we sampled 646 unrelated males from 22 Austro-Asiatic speaking populations from Cambodia, Thailand and Southwestern China, and genotyped 12 SNP makers among the sampled populations, including 10 of the newly reported markers. Among the 646 males, 343 belonged to the O2a-M95 lineage, confirming the supposed dominance of this Y chromosome lineage in Austro-Asiatic speaking populations. We further characterized the phylogeny of O2a-M95 by defining 5 sub-branches: O2a1*-M95, O2a1a-F789, O2a1b*-F1252, O2a1b1*-M88 and O2a1b1a -F761. This updated phylogeny not only improves the resolution of this lineage, but also allows for greater tracing of the prehistory of human populations in eastern Asia and the Pacific, which may yield novel insights into the patterns of language diversification and population movement in these regions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101020
PMCID: PMC4074153  PMID: 24972021
5.  Evolutionary History of Helicobacter pylori Sequences Reflect Past Human Migrations in Southeast Asia 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22058.
The human population history in Southeast Asia was shaped by numerous migrations and population expansions. Their reconstruction based on archaeological, linguistic or human genetic data is often hampered by the limited number of informative polymorphisms in classical human genetic markers, such as the hypervariable regions of the mitochondrial DNA. Here, we analyse housekeeping gene sequences of the human stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori from various countries in Southeast Asia and we provide evidence that H. pylori accompanied at least three ancient human migrations into this area: i) a migration from India introducing hpEurope bacteria into Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia; ii) a migration of the ancestors of Austro-Asiatic speaking people into Vietnam and Cambodia carrying hspEAsia bacteria; and iii) a migration of the ancestors of the Thai people from Southern China into Thailand carrying H. pylori of population hpAsia2. Moreover, the H. pylori sequences reflect iv) the migrations of Chinese to Thailand and Malaysia within the last 200 years spreading hspEasia strains, and v) migrations of Indians to Malaysia within the last 200 years distributing both hpAsia2 and hpEurope bacteria. The distribution of the bacterial populations seems to strongly influence the incidence of gastric cancer as countries with predominantly hspEAsia isolates exhibit a high incidence of gastric cancer while the incidence is low in countries with a high proportion of hpAsia2 or hpEurope strains. In the future, the host range expansion of hpEurope strains among Asian populations, combined with human motility, may have a significant impact on gastric cancer incidence in Asia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022058
PMCID: PMC3139604  PMID: 21818291
6.  Phylogenetic analysis, based on EPIYA repeats in the cagA gene of Indian Helicobacter pylori, and the implications of sequence variation in tyrosine phosphorylation motifs on determining the clinical outcome 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2011;34(2):280-285.
The population of India harbors one of the world’s most highly diverse gene pools, owing to the influx of successive waves of immigrants over regular periods in time. Several phylogenetic studies involving mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosomal variation have demonstrated Europeans to have been the first settlers in India. Nevertheless, certain controversy exists, due to the support given to the thesis that colonization was by the Austro-Asiatic group, prior to the Europeans. Thus, the aim was to investigate pre-historic colonization of India by anatomically modern humans, using conserved stretches of five amino acid (EPIYA) sequences in the cagA gene of Helicobacter pylori. Simultaneously, the existence of a pathogenic relationship of tyrosine phosphorylation motifs (TPMs), in 32 H. pylori strains isolated from subjects with several forms of gastric diseases, was also explored. High resolution sequence analysis of the above described genes was performed. The nucleotide sequences obtained were translated into amino acids using MEGA (version 4.0) software for EPIYA. An MJ-Network was constructed for obtaining TPM haplotypes by using NETWORK (version 4.5) software. The findings of the study suggest that Indian H. pylori strains share a common ancestry with Europeans. No specific association of haplotypes with the outcome of disease was revealed through additional network analysis of TPMs.
doi:10.1590/S1415-47572011005000003
PMCID: PMC3115323  PMID: 21734830
Helicobacter pylori; EPIYA motifs; tyrosine phosphorylation motifs; haplotypes; anatomically modern humans
7.  Paternal genetic affinity between western Austronesians and Daic populations 
Background
Austronesian is a linguistic family spread in most areas of the Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Based on their linguistic similarity, this linguistic family included Malayo-Polynesians and Taiwan aborigines. The linguistic similarity also led to the controversial hypothesis that Taiwan is the homeland of all the Malayo-Polynesians, a hypothesis that has been debated by ethnologists, linguists, archaeologists, and geneticists. It is well accepted that the Eastern Austronesians (Micronesians and Polynesians) derived from the Western Austronesians (Island Southeast Asians and Taiwanese), and that the Daic populations on the mainland are supposed to be the headstream of all the Austronesian populations.
Results
In this report, we studied 20 SNPs and 7 STRs in the non-recombining region of the 1,509 Y chromosomes from 30 China Daic populations, 23 Indonesian and Vietnam Malayo-Polynesian populations, and 11 Taiwan aboriginal populations. These three groups show many resemblances in paternal lineages. Admixture analyses demonstrated that the Daic populations are hardly influenced by Han Chinese genetically, and that they make up the largest proportion of Indonesians. Most of the population samples contain a high frequency of haplogroup O1a-M119, which is nearly absent in other ethnic families. The STR network of haplogroup O1a* illustrated that Indonesian lineages did not derive from Taiwan aborigines as linguistic studies suggest, but from Daic populations.
Conclusion
We show that, in contrast to the Taiwan homeland hypothesis, the Island Southeast Asians do not have a Taiwan origin based on their paternal lineages. Furthermore, we show that both Taiwan aborigines and Indonesians likely derived from the Daic populations based on their paternal lineages. These two populations seem to have evolved independently of each other. Our results indicate that a super-phylum, which includes Taiwan aborigines, Daic, and Malayo-Polynesians, is genetically educible.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-146
PMCID: PMC2408594  PMID: 18482451
8.  Genetic structure of the Mon-Khmer speaking groups and their affinity to the neighbouring Tai populations in Northern Thailand 
BMC Genetics  2011;12:56.
Background
The Mon-Khmer speaking peoples inhabited northern Thailand before the arrival of the Tai speaking people from southern China in the thirteenth century A.D. Historical and anthropological evidence suggests a close relationship between the Mon-Khmer groups and the present day majority northern Thai groups. In this study, mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal DNA polymorphisms in more than 800 volunteers from eight Mon-Khmer and ten Tai speaking populations were investigated to estimate the degree of genetic divergence between these major linguistic groups and their internal structure.
Results
A large fraction of genetic variation is observed within populations (about 80% and 90% for mtDNA and the Y-chromosome, respectively). The genetic divergence between populations is much higher in Mon-Khmer than in Tai speaking groups, especially at the paternally inherited markers. The two major linguistic groups are genetically distinct, but only for a marginal fraction (1 to 2%) of the total genetic variation. Genetic distances between populations correlate with their linguistic differences, whereas the geographic distance does not explain the genetic divergence pattern.
Conclusions
The Mon-Khmer speaking populations in northern Thailand exhibited the genetic divergence among each other and also when compared to Tai speaking peoples. The different drift effects and the post-marital residence patterns between the two linguistic groups are the explanation for a small but significant fraction of the genetic variation pattern within and between them.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-12-56
PMCID: PMC3126721  PMID: 21672265
9.  Most of the extant mtDNA boundaries in South and Southwest Asia were likely shaped during the initial settlement of Eurasia by anatomically modern humans 
BMC Genetics  2004;5:26.
Background
Recent advances in the understanding of the maternal and paternal heritage of south and southwest Asian populations have highlighted their role in the colonization of Eurasia by anatomically modern humans. Further understanding requires a deeper insight into the topology of the branches of the Indian mtDNA phylogenetic tree, which should be contextualized within the phylogeography of the neighboring regional mtDNA variation. Accordingly, we have analyzed mtDNA control and coding region variation in 796 Indian (including both tribal and caste populations from different parts of India) and 436 Iranian mtDNAs. The results were integrated and analyzed together with published data from South, Southeast Asia and West Eurasia.
Results
Four new Indian-specific haplogroup M sub-clades were defined. These, in combination with two previously described haplogroups, encompass approximately one third of the haplogroup M mtDNAs in India. Their phylogeography and spread among different linguistic phyla and social strata was investigated in detail. Furthermore, the analysis of the Iranian mtDNA pool revealed patterns of limited reciprocal gene flow between Iran and the Indian sub-continent and allowed the identification of different assemblies of shared mtDNA sub-clades.
Conclusions
Since the initial peopling of South and West Asia by anatomically modern humans, when this region may well have provided the initial settlers who colonized much of the rest of Eurasia, the gene flow in and out of India of the maternally transmitted mtDNA has been surprisingly limited. Specifically, our analysis of the mtDNA haplogroups, which are shared between Indian and Iranian populations and exhibit coalescence ages corresponding to around the early Upper Paleolithic, indicates that they are present in India largely as Indian-specific sub-lineages. In contrast, other ancient Indian-specific variants of M and R are very rare outside the sub-continent.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-5-26
PMCID: PMC516768  PMID: 15339343
10.  Genetic Structure of Tibeto-Burman Populations of Bangladesh: Evaluating the Gene Flow along the Sides of Bay-of-Bengal 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e75064.
Human settlement and migrations along sides of Bay-of-Bengal have played a vital role in shaping the genetic landscape of Bangladesh, Eastern India and Southeast Asia. Bangladesh and Northeast India form the vital land bridge between the South and Southeast Asia. To reconstruct the population history of this region and to see whether this diverse region geographically acted as a corridor or barrier for human interaction between South Asia and Southeast Asia, we, for the first time analyzed high resolution uniparental (mtDNA and Y chromosome) and biparental autosomal genetic markers among aboriginal Bangladesh tribes currently speaking Tibeto-Burman language. All the three studied populations; Chakma, Marma and Tripura from Bangladesh showed strikingly high homogeneity among themselves and strong affinities to Northeast Indian Tibeto-Burman groups. However, they show substantially higher molecular diversity than Northeast Indian populations. Unlike Austroasiatic (Munda) speakers of India, we observed equal role of both males and females in shaping the Tibeto-Burman expansion in Southern Asia. Moreover, it is noteworthy that in admixture proportion, TB populations of Bangladesh carry substantially higher mainland Indian ancestry component than Northeast Indian Tibeto-Burmans. Largely similar expansion ages of two major paternal haplogroups (O2a and O3a3c), suggested that they arose before the differentiation of any language group and approximately at the same time. Contrary to the scenario proposed for colonization of Northeast India as male founder effect that occurred within the past 4,000 years, we suggest a significantly deep colonization of this region. Overall, our extensive analysis revealed that the population history of South Asian Tibeto-Burman speakers is more complex than it was suggested before.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075064
PMCID: PMC3794028  PMID: 24130682
11.  Human Migration through Bottlenecks from Southeast Asia into East Asia during Last Glacial Maximum Revealed by Y Chromosomes 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e24282.
Molecular anthropological studies of the populations in and around East Asia have resulted in the discovery that most of the Y-chromosome lineages of East Asians came from Southeast Asia. However, very few Southeast Asian populations had been investigated, and therefore, little was known about the purported migrations from Southeast Asia into East Asia and their roles in shaping the genetic structure of East Asian populations. Here, we present the Y-chromosome data from 1,652 individuals belonging to 47 Mon-Khmer (MK) and Hmong-Mien (HM) speaking populations that are distributed primarily across Southeast Asia and extend into East Asia. Haplogroup O3a3b-M7, which appears mainly in MK and HM, indicates a strong tie between the two groups. The short tandem repeat network of O3a3b-M7 displayed a hierarchical expansion structure (annual ring shape), with MK haplotypes being located at the original point, and the HM and the Tibeto-Burman haplotypes distributed further away from core of the network. Moreover, the East Asian dominant haplogroup O3a3c1-M117 shows a network structure similar to that of O3a3b-M7. These patterns indicate an early unidirectional diffusion from Southeast Asia into East Asia, which might have resulted from the genetic drift of East Asian ancestors carrying these two haplogroups through many small bottle-necks formed by the complicated landscape between Southeast Asia and East Asia. The ages of O3a3b-M7 and O3a3c1-M117 were estimated to be approximately 19 thousand years, followed by the emergence of the ancestors of HM lineages out of MK and the unidirectional northward migrations into East Asia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024282
PMCID: PMC3164178  PMID: 21904623
12.  Cross Neutralization of Afro-Asian Cobra and Asian Krait Venoms by a Thai Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (Neuro Polyvalent Snake Antivenom) 
Background
Snake envenomation is a serious public health threat in the rural areas of Asian and African countries. To date, the only proven treatment for snake envenomation is antivenom therapy. Cross-neutralization of heterologous venoms by antivenom raised against venoms of closely related species has been reported. The present study examined the cross neutralizing potential of a newly developed polyvalent antivenom, termed Neuro Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (NPAV). NPAV was produced by immunization against 4 Thai elapid venoms.
Principal Findings
In vitro neutralization study using mice showed that NPAV was able to neutralize effectively the lethality of venoms of most common Asiatic cobras (Naja spp.), Ophiophagus hannah and kraits (Bungarus spp.) from Southeast Asia, but only moderately to weakly effective against venoms of Naja from India subcontinent and Africa. Studies with several venoms showed that the in vivo neutralization potency of the NPAV was comparable to the in vitro neutralization potency. NPAV could also fully protect against N. sputatrix venom-induced cardio-respiratory depressant and neuromuscular blocking effects in anesthetized rats, demonstrating that the NPAV could neutralize most of the major lethal toxins in the Naja venom.
Conclusions/Significance
The newly developed polyvalent antivenom NPAV may find potential application in the treatment of elapid bites in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, a neighboring nation of Thailand. Nevertheless, the applicability of NPAV in the treatment of cobra and krait envenomations in Southeast Asian victims needs to be confirmed by clinical trials. The cross-neutralization results may contribute to the design of broad-spectrum polyvalent antivenom.
Author Summary
Snake envenomation is a serious public health threat in the rural areas of Asia and Africa. To date, the only proven treatment for snake envenomation is antivenom therapy. Owing to the difficulties in the diagnosis of the biting species, there is a need to develop polyvalent antivenoms that could cross-neutralize venoms of medically important venomous snakes in the various regions. Recently, Thai Red Cross Society from Thailand has developed a new polyvalent antivenom for treatment of cobra and krait venoms. The polyvalent antivenom, termed “Neuro Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (NPAV),” is raised against venoms of two Thai cobras and two Thai kraits. Our results indicated that the polyvalent antivenom can effectively neutralize venoms from many Southeast Asian cobras, kraits and king cobra but is less effective against Indian cobra venoms. Studies using anesthetized rats showed that NPAV can effectively protect against cobra venom-induced cardio-respiratory depressant and neuromuscular blocking effects, confirming that the antivenom can effectively neutralize the major lethal toxins of common cobra venoms. This new antivenom may find potential application in the treatment of elapid bites in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, a neighboring nation of Thailand.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001672
PMCID: PMC3367981  PMID: 22679522
13.  Genetic affinities among the lower castes and tribal groups of India: inference from Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA 
BMC Genetics  2006;7:42.
Background
India is a country with enormous social and cultural diversity due to its positioning on the crossroads of many historic and pre-historic human migrations. The hierarchical caste system in the Hindu society dominates the social structure of the Indian populations. The origin of the caste system in India is a matter of debate with many linguists and anthropologists suggesting that it began with the arrival of Indo-European speakers from Central Asia about 3500 years ago. Previous genetic studies based on Indian populations failed to achieve a consensus in this regard. We analysed the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA of three tribal populations of southern India, compared the results with available data from the Indian subcontinent and tried to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Indian caste and tribal populations.
Results
No significant difference was observed in the mitochondrial DNA between Indian tribal and caste populations, except for the presence of a higher frequency of west Eurasian-specific haplogroups in the higher castes, mostly in the north western part of India. On the other hand, the study of the Indian Y lineages revealed distinct distribution patterns among caste and tribal populations. The paternal lineages of Indian lower castes showed significantly closer affinity to the tribal populations than to the upper castes. The frequencies of deep-rooted Y haplogroups such as M89, M52, and M95 were higher in the lower castes and tribes, compared to the upper castes.
Conclusion
The present study suggests that the vast majority (>98%) of the Indian maternal gene pool, consisting of Indio-European and Dravidian speakers, is genetically more or less uniform. Invasions after the late Pleistocene settlement might have been mostly male-mediated. However, Y-SNP data provides compelling genetic evidence for a tribal origin of the lower caste populations in the subcontinent. Lower caste groups might have originated with the hierarchical divisions that arose within the tribal groups with the spread of Neolithic agriculturalists, much earlier than the arrival of Aryan speakers. The Indo-Europeans established themselves as upper castes among this already developed caste-like class structure within the tribes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-7-42
PMCID: PMC1569435  PMID: 16893451
14.  Identification of Major Active Ingredients Responsible for Burn Wound Healing of Centella asiatica Herbs 
Centella asiatica herbs have been prescribed as a traditional medicine for wound healing in China and Southeast Asia for a long time. They contain many kinds of triterpenoid compounds, mainly including glycosides (asiaticoside and madecassoside) and corresponding aglycones (asiatic acid and madecassic acid). To identify which is the major active constituent, a comprehensive and comparative study of these compounds was performed. In vitro, primary human skin fibroblasts, originating from healthy human foreskin samples, were treated with various concentrations of asiaticoside, madecassoside, asiatic acid, and madecassic acid, respectively. Cell proliferation, collagen synthesis, MMP-1/TIMP-1 balance, and TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway were investigated. In vivo, mice were orally administered with the four compounds mentioned above for two weeks after burn injury. The speed and quality of wound healing, as well as TGF-β1 levels in skin tissues, were examined. Interestingly, in contrast to prevalent postulations, asiaticoside and madecassoside themselves, rather than their corresponding metabolites asiatic acid and madecassic acid, are recognized as the main active constituents of C. asiatica herbs responsible for burn wound healing. Furthermore, madecassoside is more effective than asiaticoside (P = 0.0446 for procollagen type III synthesis in vitro, P = 0.0057 for wound healing speed, and P = 0.0491 for wound healing pattern in vivo, correspondingly).
doi:10.1155/2012/848093
PMCID: PMC3546525  PMID: 23346217
15.  Migration of Chadic speaking pastoralists within Africa based on population structure of Chad Basin and phylogeography of mitochondrial L3f haplogroup 
Background
Chad Basin, lying within the bidirectional corridor of African Sahel, is one of the most populated places in Sub-Saharan Africa today. The origin of its settlement appears connected with Holocene climatic ameliorations (aquatic resources) that started ~10,000 years before present (YBP). Although both Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo language families are encountered here, the most diversified group is the Chadic branch belonging to the Afro-Asiatic language phylum. In this article, we investigate the proposed ancient migration of Chadic pastoralists from Eastern Africa based on linguistic data and test for genetic traces of this migration in extant Chadic speaking populations.
Results
We performed whole mitochondrial genome sequencing of 16 L3f haplotypes, focused on clade L3f3 that occurs almost exclusively in Chadic speaking people living in the Chad Basin. These data supported the reconstruction of a L3f phylogenetic tree and calculation of times to the most recent common ancestor for all internal clades. A date ~8,000 YBP was estimated for the L3f3 sub-haplogroup, which is in good agreement with the supposed migration of Chadic speaking pastoralists and their linguistic differentiation from other Afro-Asiatic groups of East Africa. As a whole, the Afro-Asiatic language family presents low population structure, as 92.4% of mtDNA variation is found within populations and only 3.4% of variation can be attributed to diversity among language branches. The Chadic speaking populations form a relatively homogenous cluster, exhibiting lower diversification than the other Afro-Asiatic branches (Berber, Semitic and Cushitic).
Conclusion
The results of our study support an East African origin of mitochondrial L3f3 clade that is present almost exclusively within Chadic speaking people living in Chad Basin. Whole genome sequence-based dates show that the ancestral haplogroup L3f must have emerged soon after the Out-of-Africa migration (around 57,100 ± 9,400 YBP), but the "Chadic" L3f3 clade has much less internal variation, suggesting an expansion during the Holocene period about 8,000 ± 2,500 YBP. This time period in the Chad Basin is known to have been particularly favourable for the expansion of pastoralists coming from northeastern Africa, as suggested by archaeological, linguistic and climatic data.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-9-63
PMCID: PMC2680838  PMID: 19309521
16.  Epidemiology of Tuberculosis During the Period 1703–2011: Honoring the World Tuberculosis Day 
Materia Socio-Medica  2013;25(4):291-294.
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the oldest, the most expanded and the most lethal diseases in human history. Although Koch’s discovery of the TB causative agent (1882) represented a great progress in the fight against this infectious disease, it took a significant amount of time to reduce morbidity and mortality in the world. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) it was necessary to implement actions in the form of education where the popularization of measures of recognition, treatment and preventing the disease was done. After the Annexation of B&H to Austro-Hungarian (1908) began an organized fight against TB. Dr. S. Kukric was a particularly prominent individual, putting his effort by working in clinics, through his lectures and numerous popular research papers on tuberculosis. He was followed by many colleagues working inexhaustibly while facing the high incidence of TB and the difficult social situation in B&H. Although this disease is old, at the end of the 20th century a new TB appeared, with new challenges and new, even grater problems. Significant achievement and great progress in the treatment and control of TB infection was achieved by implementing the direct observed short course treatment (DOTS from 2006.) Still, there is a too high incidence of TB that becomes again a serious threat, together with new problems and difficult economic and social situation. Nowadays in Federation of B&H the guidelines of World Health Organization on reinforcing the DOTS strategy are being daily implemented, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and infection control.
doi:10.5455/msm.2013.25.291-294
PMCID: PMC3914746  PMID: 24511278
Epidemiology of tuberculosis; Diagnostics; Antiepidemic measures.
17.  Population Differentiation of Southern Indian Male Lineages Correlates with Agricultural Expansions Predating the Caste System 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50269.
Previous studies that pooled Indian populations from a wide variety of geographical locations, have obtained contradictory conclusions about the processes of the establishment of the Varna caste system and its genetic impact on the origins and demographic histories of Indian populations. To further investigate these questions we took advantage that both Y chromosome and caste designation are paternally inherited, and genotyped 1,680 Y chromosomes representing 12 tribal and 19 non-tribal (caste) endogamous populations from the predominantly Dravidian-speaking Tamil Nadu state in the southernmost part of India. Tribes and castes were both characterized by an overwhelming proportion of putatively Indian autochthonous Y-chromosomal haplogroups (H-M69, F-M89, R1a1-M17, L1-M27, R2-M124, and C5-M356; 81% combined) with a shared genetic heritage dating back to the late Pleistocene (10–30 Kya), suggesting that more recent Holocene migrations from western Eurasia contributed <20% of the male lineages. We found strong evidence for genetic structure, associated primarily with the current mode of subsistence. Coalescence analysis suggested that the social stratification was established 4–6 Kya and there was little admixture during the last 3 Kya, implying a minimal genetic impact of the Varna (caste) system from the historically-documented Brahmin migrations into the area. In contrast, the overall Y-chromosomal patterns, the time depth of population diversifications and the period of differentiation were best explained by the emergence of agricultural technology in South Asia. These results highlight the utility of detailed local genetic studies within India, without prior assumptions about the importance of Varna rank status for population grouping, to obtain new insights into the relative influences of past demographic events for the population structure of the whole of modern India.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050269
PMCID: PMC3508930  PMID: 23209694
18.  When Indian crabs were not yet Asian - biogeographic evidence for Eocene proximity of India and Southeast Asia 
Background
The faunal and floral relationship of northward-drifting India with its neighboring continents is of general biogeographic interest as an important driver of regional biodiversity. However, direct biogeographic connectivity of India and Southeast Asia during the Cenozoic remains largely unexplored. We investigate timing, direction and mechanisms of faunal exchange between India and Southeast Asia, based on a molecular phylogeny, molecular clock-derived time estimates and biogeographic reconstructions of the Asian freshwater crab family Gecarcinucidae.
Results
Although the Gecarcinucidae are not an element of an ancient Gondwana fauna, their subfamily Gecarcinucinae, and probably also the Liotelphusinae, evolved on the Indian Subcontinent and subsequently dispersed to Southeast Asia. Estimated by a model testing approach, this dispersal event took place during the Middle Eocene, and thus before the final collision of India and the Tibet-part of Eurasia.
Conclusions
We postulate that the India and Southeast Asia were close enough for exchange of freshwater organisms during the Middle Eocene, before the final Indian-Eurasian collision. Our data support geological models that assume the Indian plate having tracked along Southeast Asia during its move northwards.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-287
PMCID: PMC2949875  PMID: 20849594
19.  Exhaustive sample set among Viverridae reveals the sister-group of felids: the linsangs as a case of extreme morphological convergence within Feliformia. 
Although molecular studies have helped to clarify the phylogeny of the problematic family Viverridae, a recent phylogenetic investigation based on cytochrome b (cyt b) has excluded the Asiatic linsangs (genus Prionodon) from the family. To assess the phylogenetic position of the Asiatic linsangs within the Feliformia, we analysed an exhaustive taxonomic sample set with cyt b and newly produced transthyretin intron I sequences (TR-I-I). TR-I-I alone and cyt b +TR-I-I combined (maximum-likelihood analysis) highly support the position of Asiatic linsangs as sister-group of the Felidae. The estimation of minimum divergence dates from molecular data suggests a splitting event ca. 33.3 million years (Myr) ago, which lends support to historical assertions that the Asiatic linsangs are "living fossils" that share a plesiomorphic morphotype with the Oligocene feliform Paleoprionodon. The African linsang is estimated to appear more than 20 Myr later and represents the sister-group of the genus Genetta. Our phylogenetic results illustrate numerous morphological convergences of "diagnostic" characters among Feliformia that might be problematic for the identification of fossil taxa. The morphotype reappearance from the Asiatic to the African linsangs suggests that the genome of the Feliformia conserved its potential ability of expression for a peculiar adaptive phenotype throughout evolution, in this case arboreality and hypercarnivory in tropical forest.
doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2521
PMCID: PMC1691530  PMID: 14667345
20.  A novel subgroup Q5 of human Y-chromosomal haplogroup Q in India 
Background
Y-chromosomal haplogroup (Y-HG) Q is suggested to originate in Asia and represent recent founder paternal Native American radiation into the Americas. This group is delineated into Q1, Q2 and Q3 subgroups defined by biallelic markers M120, M25/M143 and M3, respectively. Recently, a novel subgroup Q4 has been identified which is defined by bi-allelic marker M346, representing HG Q (0.41%, 3/728) in Indian population. With scanty details of HG Q in Asia, especially India, it was pertinent to explore the status of the Y-HG Q in Indian population to gather an insight to determine the extent of diversity within this region.
Results
We observed 15/630 (2.38%) Y-HG Q individuals in India with an ancestral state at M120, M25, M3 and M346 markers, indicating an absence of already known Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 sub-haplogroups. Interestingly, we further observed a novel 4 bp deletion/insertion polymorphism (ss4 bp, rs41352448) at 72,314 position of human arylsulfatase D pseudogene, defining a novel sub-lineage Q5 (in 5/15 individuals, i.e., 33.3 % of the observed Y-HG Q) with distributions independent of the social, cultural, linguistic and geographical affiliations in India.
Conclusion
The study adds another sublineage Q5 in the already existing arrangement of Y-HG Q in literature. It was quite interesting to observe an ancestral state Q* and a novel sub-branch Q5, not reported elsewhere, in Indian subcontinent, though in low frequency. A novel subgroup Q4 was identified recently which is also restricted to Indian subcontinent. The most plausible explanation for these observations could be an ancestral migration of individuals bearing ancestral lineage Q* to Indian subcontinent followed by an autochthonous differentiation to Q4 and Q5 sublineages later on. However, other explanations of, either the presence of both the sub haplogroups (Q4 and Q5) in ancestral migrants or recent migrations from central Asia, cannot be ruled out till the distribution and diversity of these subgroups is explored extensively in Central Asia and other regions.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-232
PMCID: PMC2258157  PMID: 18021436
21.  Limited Distribution of a Cardiomyopathy-Associated Variant in India 
Annals of human genetics  2010;74(2):184-188.
Heart failure is a leading cause of death of people in South Asia, and cardiomyopathy is a major cause of heart failure. Myosin binding protein C (MYBPC3) is expressed in the heart muscle, where it regulates the cardiac response to adrenergic stimulation and is important for the structural integrity of the sarcomere. Mutations in the MYBPC3 gene are associated with hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathies. A 25-base-pair deletion in intron 32 causes skipping of the downstream exon and is associated with familial cardiomyopathy. To date, this deletion is found primarily in India and South Asia, although it is also found at low frequency in Southeast Asia. In order to better characterize the distribution of this variant, we determined its frequency in 447 individuals from 19 populations, including 10 populations from India and neighboring populations from Pakistan and Nepal. The deletion frequency is over 8% in some of our Indian samples, and it is not present in any of the populations we sampled outside of India. The differences in the deletion frequencies among populations in India are consistent with patterns of variation previously reported and with patterns we observed among Indian populations based on high-density SNP chip data. Our results indicate the MYBPC3 deletion is primarily found among Indian populations, and that its distribution is consistent with genome-wide patterns of variation in India.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2010.00561.x
PMCID: PMC2901538  PMID: 20201939
22.  Traces of Archaic Mitochondrial Lineages Persist in Austronesian-Speaking Formosan Populations 
PLoS Biology  2005;3(8):e247.
Genetic affinities between aboriginal Taiwanese and populations from Oceania and Southeast Asia have previously been explored through analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosomal DNA, and human leukocyte antigen loci. Recent genetic studies have supported the “slow boat” and “entangled bank” models according to which the Polynesian migration can be seen as an expansion from Melanesia without any major direct genetic thread leading back to its initiation from Taiwan. We assessed mtDNA variation in 640 individuals from nine tribes of the central mountain ranges and east coast regions of Taiwan. In contrast to the Han populations, the tribes showed a low frequency of haplogroups D4 and G, and an absence of haplogroups A, C, Z, M9, and M10. Also, more than 85% of the maternal lineages were nested within haplogroups B4, B5a, F1a, F3b, E, and M7. Although indicating a common origin of the populations of insular Southeast Asia and Oceania, most mtDNA lineages in Taiwanese aboriginal populations are grouped separately from those found in China and the Taiwan general (Han) population, suggesting a prevalence in the Taiwanese aboriginal gene pool of its initial late Pleistocene settlers. Interestingly, from complete mtDNA sequencing information, most B4a lineages were associated with three coding region substitutions, defining a new subclade, B4a1a, that endorses the origin of Polynesian migration from Taiwan. Coalescence times of B4a1a were 13.2 ± 3.8 thousand years (or 9.3 ± 2.5 thousand years in Papuans and Polynesians). Considering the lack of a common specific Y chromosomal element shared by the Taiwanese aboriginals and Polynesians, the mtDNA evidence provided here is also consistent with the suggestion that the proto-Oceanic societies would have been mainly matrilocal.
An extensive phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA from nine Taiwanese tribes reveals an unambiguous genetic link between aboriginal Taiwanese and Polynesian populations, to the exclusion of mainland Asians.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030247
PMCID: PMC1166350  PMID: 15984912
23.  Centella asiatica (L.) Urban: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine with Neuroprotective Potential 
This paper covers the studies relevant to neuroprotective activity of Centella asiatica (L.) Urban, also known as “Gotu Kola.” The plant is native to the Southeast Asia and has been used traditionally as brain tonic in ayurvedic medicine. The neuroprotective effect of C. asiatica has been searched using the key words “Centella, Centella asiatica, gotu kola, Asiatic pennywort, neuroprotection, and memory” through the electronic databases including Sciencedirect, Web of Science, Scopus, Pubmed, and Google Scholar. According to the literature survey, C. asiatica (gotu kola) has been reported to have a comprehensive neuroprotection by different modes of action such as enzyme inhibition, prevention of amyloid plaque formation in Alzheimer's disease, dopamine neurotoxicity in Parkinson's disease, and decreasing oxidative stress. Therefore, C. asiatica could be suggested to be a desired phytopharmaceutical with neuroprotective effect emerged from traditional medicine.
doi:10.1155/2012/946259
PMCID: PMC3359802  PMID: 22666298
24.  Deciphering Past Human Population Movements in Oceania: Provably Optimal Trees of 127 mtDNA Genomes 
Molecular biology and evolution  2006;23(10):1966-1975.
The settlement of the many island groups of Remote Oceania occurred relatively late in prehistory, beginning approximately 3,000 years ago when people sailed eastwards into the Pacific from Near Oceania, where evidence of human settlement dates from as early as 40,000 years ago. Archeological and linguistic analyses have suggested the settlers of Remote Oceania had ancestry in Taiwan, as descendants of a proposed Neolithic expansion that began approximately 5,500 years ago. Other researchers have suggested that the settlers were descendants of peoples from Island Southeast Asia or the existing inhabitants of Near Oceania alone. To explore patterns of maternal descent in Oceania, we have assembled and analyzed a data set of 137 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes from Oceania, Australia, Island Southeast Asia, and Taiwan that includes 19 sequences generated for this project. Using the MinMax Squeeze Approach (MMS), we report the consensus network of 165 most parsimonious trees for the Oceanic data set, increasing by many orders of magnitude the numbers of trees for which a provable minimal solution has been found. The new mtDNA sequences highlight the limitations of partial sequencing for assigning sequences to haplogroups and dating recent divergence events. The provably optimal trees found for the entire mtDNA sequences using the MMS method provide a reliable and robust framework for the interpretation of evolutionary relationships and confirm that the female settlers of Remote Oceania descended from both the existing inhabitants of Near Oceania and more recent migrants into the region.
doi:10.1093/molbev/msl063
PMCID: PMC2674580  PMID: 16855009
human; mtDNA; Oceania; MMS; prehistory
25.  Association of LOXL1 polymorphisms with pseudoexfoliation in the Chinese 
Molecular Vision  2009;15:1120-1126.
Purpose
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the lysyl oxidase like-1 gene (LOXL1; rs1048661 and rs3825942) were found to confer risk to pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (XFG) through the pseudoexfoliation syndrome (XFS) in Nordic, Caucasian, and two Asiatic populations (Indian and Japanese). The prevalence (0.2%–0.7%) of XFS in the Chinese is considerably lower compared to Nordic populations. The aim of this study was to determine the association of LOXL1 in Chinese subjects with XFS/XFG.
Methods
Chinese subjects with clinically diagnosed XFS/XFG and normal controls were recruited. Genomic DNA was extracted, and the two LOXL1 SNPs (rs1048661 and rs3825942) were genotyped by bidirectional sequencing. Allele and genotype frequencies were compared between cases and unrelated controls using PLINK. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) calculations and haplotype association analysis were done using the Haploview package and WHAP package, respectively.
Results
Sixty-two Chinese patients (17 XFG and 45 XFS) and 171 Chinese controls were studied. The G allele of LOXL1 SNP rs3825942 was moderately associated (OR=10.97, p=0.0018) with pseudoxfoliation in the Chinese. The frequency of the G allele of rs1048661 was not significantly different in cases compared to controls (p=0.142) in the allelic association test. However, the genotype test showed marginal association for rs1048661 (p=0.030). Only three haplotypes were observed (T-G, G-G, and G-A) with G-G as a risk haplotype (p=0.0034) and G-A as a protective haplotype (p=0.00039). T-G, which was a risk haplotype in the Japanese, was not associated with XFG in the Chinese (p=0.124).
Conclusions
Polymorphisms in LOXL1 confer risk to XFS/XFG in the Chinese. The lower incidence of XFS compared to other populations suggests additional genetic or environmental factors to have a major influence on the phenotypic expression of XFS in the Chinese. The G allele of rs3825942 has been shown to be associated with XFS/XFG in all populations studied to date.
PMCID: PMC2690963  PMID: 19503743

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