The question surrounding the colonization of Polynesia has remained controversial. Two hypotheses, one postulating Taiwan as the putative homeland and the other asserting a Melanesian origin of the Polynesian people, have received considerable attention. In this work, we present haplotype data based on the distribution of 19 biallelic polymorphisms on the Y chromosome in a sample of 551 male individuals from 36 populations living in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Surprisingly, nearly none of the Taiwanese Y haplotypes were found in Micronesia and Polynesia. Likewise, a Melanesian-specific haplotype was not found among the Polynesians. However, all of the Polynesian, Micronesian, and Taiwanese haplotypes are present in the extant Southeast Asian populations. Evidently, the Y-chromosome data do not lend support to either of the prevailing hypotheses. Rather, we postulate that Southeast Asia provided a genetic source for two independent migrations, one toward Taiwan and the other toward Polynesia through island Southeast Asia.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jul 18 2000|
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