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Balinese Y-Chromosome Perspective on the Peopling of Indonesia: Genetic Contributions from Pre-Neolithic Hunter-Gatherers, Austronesian Farmers, and Indian Traders

From: Human Biology
Volume 77, Number 1, February 2005
pp. 93-114 | 10.1353/hub.2005.0030


The island of Bali lies near the center of the southern chain of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, which served as a stepping-stone for early migrations of hunter-gatherers to Melanesia and Australia and for more recent migrations of Austronesian farmers from mainland Southeast Asia to the Pacific. Bali is the only Indonesian island with a population that currently practices the Hindu religion and preserves various other Indian cultural, linguistic, and artistic traditions (Lansing 1983). Here, we examine genetic variation on the Y chromosomes of 551 Balinese men to investigate the relative contributions of Austronesian farmers and pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherers to the contemporary Balinese paternal gene pool and to test the hypothesis of recent paternal gene flow from the Indian subcontinent. Seventy-one Y-chromosome binary polymorphisms (single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs) and 10 Y-chromosome-linked short tandem repeats (STRs) were genotyped on a sample of 1,989 Y chromosomes from 20 populations representing Indonesia (including Bali), southern China, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Near East, and Oceania. SNP genotyping revealed 22 Balinese lineages, 3 of which (O-M95, O-M119, and O-M122) account for nearly 83.7% of Balinese Y chromosomes. Phylogeographic analyses suggest that all three major Y-chromosome haplogroups migrated to Bali with the arrival of Austronesian speakers; however, STR diversity patterns associated with these haplogroups are complex and may be explained by multiple waves of Austronesian expansion to Indonesia by different routes. Approximately 2.2% of contemporary Balinese Y chromosomes (i.e., K-M9*, K-M230, and M lineages) may represent the pre-Neolithic component of the Indonesian paternal gene pool. In contrast, eight other haplogroups (e.g., within H, J, L, and R), making up approximately 12% of the Balinese paternal gene pool, appear to have migrated to Bali from India. These results indicate that the Austronesian expansion had a profound effect on the composition of the Balinese paternal gene pool and that cultural transmission from India to Bali was accompanied by substantial levels of gene flow.

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