Genomic insight into the population history of Central Han Chinese.


Yang X(1), Wang XX(2), He G(1)(3), Guo J(1), Zhao J(1), Sun J(1), Li Y(1), Cheng HZ(1), Hu R(1), Wei LH(1), Chen G(4), Wang CC(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Anthropology and Ethnology, Institute of Anthropology, National Institute for Data Science in Health and Medicine, and School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.
(2)Department of Medical Laboratory, Taihe Hospital Affiliated to Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, China.
(3)Institute of Forensic Medicine, West China School of Basic Science and Forensic Medicine Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
(4)WeGene, Shenzhen, China.


BACKGROUND: In recent decades, considerable attention has been paid to exploring the population genetic characteristics of Han Chinese, mainly documenting a north-south genetic substructure. However, the central Han Chinese have been largely underrepresented in previous studies. AIM: To infer a comprehensive understanding of the homogenisation process and population history of Han Chinese. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We collected samples from 122 Han Chinese from seven counties of Hubei province in central China and genotyped 534,000 genome-wide SNPs. We compared Hubei Han with both ancient and present-day Eurasian populations using Principal Component Analysis, ADMIXTURE, f statistics, qpWave and qpAdm. RESULTS: We observed Hubei Han Chinese are at a genetically intermediate position on the north-south Han Chinese cline. We have not detected any significant genetic substructure in the studied groups from seven different counties. Hubei Han show significant evidence of genetic admixture deriving about 63% of ancestry from Tai-Kadai or Austronesian-speaking southern indigenous groups and 37% from Tungusic or Mongolic related northern populations. CONCLUSIONS: The formation of Han Chinese has involved extensive admixture with Tai-Kadai or Austronesian-speaking populations in the south and Tungusic or Mongolic speaking populations in the north. The convenient transportation and central location of Hubei make it the key region for the homogenisation of Han Chinese.