Three separate waves of migration responsible for origin of Indian population

The Indian Subcontinent harbours huge genetic diversity, in addition to its vast patchwork of languages, cultures and religions.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 11, 2017, 13:01 PM IST
Three separate waves of migration responsible for origin of Indian population
Representational image

New Delhi: Scientists using genetic evidence from people alive in the subcontinent have found that the Indian population originated from three separate waves of migration from Africa, Iran and Central Asia.

The Indian Subcontinent harbours huge genetic diversity, in addition to its vast patchwork of languages, cultures and religions.

Researchers at the University of Huddersfield in the UK found that some genetic lineages in South Asia are very ancient.

The earliest populations were hunter-gatherers who arrived from Africa, where modern humans arose, more than 50,000 years ago.

However, further waves of settlement came from the direction of Iran, after the last Ice Age ended 10-20,000 years ago, and with the spread of early farming.

These ancient signatures are most clearly seen in the mitochondrial DNA, which tracks the female line of descent.

However, Y-chromosome variation, which tracks the male line, is very different, according to the study published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

(With PTI inputs)