Abstract

The aborigines of Taiwan represent the indigenous inhabitants of the island at the time of the arrival of the Chinese from the mainland. Linguistically, the aboriginal Taiwanese are related to the Malayo-Polynesian-speaking inhabitants of Indonesia and the Philippines. Three tribes occupied lowland areas while six tribes occupied highland areas. Previous studies indicate that genetic markers associated with malaria occur in lowland populations. Though the GM haplotypes are demonstrated to be very useful in the measure of population affinities, the possibility of malarial selection on this locus could affect studies of population affinity. The present work is a case study to see whether a subdivided insular population under a possible selective load will provide divergent clustering analysis depending on the population sampled. Immunoglobulin allotype (GM and KM) profiles were generated on 230 lowland and 407 highland Taiwan Aborigines from the nine tribes. A highly significant difference in GM haplotype distribution was detected between lowland and highland populations (adjusted G = 69.408, 2 df [degrees of freedom], p < 0.00001). There were no significant differences in KM*1 frequency by altitude. The Taiwan Aboriginal GM and KM frequencies were compared to data from Indonesians, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay, Chinese from Taiwan, and Ryukyu Islanders from Okinawa using cluster analysis. The lowland populations plot among the Thai (N, NC) and Malayan Aborigines. In contrast, the highland and total Taiwan Aborigine samples plot with the Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Malayan Negrito samples. Thus, depending on the populations of Taiwan Aborigines used, different conclusions could be reached. The highland population supports the published linguistic ties; however, the lowland population does not support the linguistic relationship with Indonesian populations but is more closely related to Thai and Malays, or reflects a similar selection history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-6617
Print ISSN
0018-7143
Pages
pp. 363-379
Launched on MUSE
2002-06-01
Open Access
No
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