(Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with the National Institute of BioMedical Genomics, in India has found via genetic study, five distinct ancestral components for the people of India.
The team reports that their study revealed that the four ancestral groups they found included what they describe as people of north and south Indian ancestries, people of Austro-Asiatic descent and people with Tibeto-Burman ancestries. Those from the islands were found to share genes with present-day Pacific Islanders. They also found evidence of the first Indians coming from Africa—another later wave of people came to the area from East and South Central Asia. They also found that the earliest people tended to intermingle for many years, sharing their genes across lineages, but that came to halt approximately 70 generations ago, which equated to approximately 1,575 years ago—the time period of the Gupta emperors, when the caste system was begun. Intermingling between the upper and lower castes diminished to the point that it could be seen in the genes of people alive today.
The researchers note that their study has revealed that Indian ancestry is far more genetically diverse than has been thought and also point out that they have shown that shifts in societal practices can lead to changes in the genomes of the people that live there, over many generations.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-genomic-indian-populations-distinct-ancestral.html#jCpIn their paper published in Proceedings ...