Original Article | Published:

Genetic diversity of two Neolithic populations provides evidence of farming expansions in North China

Journal of Human Genetics volume 62, pages 199204 (2017) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The West Liao River Valley and the Yellow River Valley are recognized Neolithic farming centers in North China. The population dynamics between these two centers have significantly contributed to the present-day genetic patterns and the agricultural advances of North China. To understand the Neolithic farming expansions between the West Liao River Valley and the Yellow River Valley, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the Y chromosome of 48 individuals from two archeological sites, Jiangjialiang (>3000 BC) and Sanguan (~1500 BC). These two sites are situated between the two farming centers and experienced a subsistence shift from hunting to farming. We did not find a significant difference in the mtDNA, but their genetic variations in the Y chromosome were different. Individuals from the Jiangjialiang belonged to two Y haplogroups, N1 (not N1a or N1c) and N1c. The individuals from the Sanguan are Y haplogroup O3. Two stages of migration are supported. Populations from the West Liao River Valley spread south at about 3000 BC, and a second northward expansion from the Yellow River Valley occurred later (3000–1500 BC).

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant numbers 31371266, J1210007 and 31301025) and the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No.11& ZD182). We are grateful to Fei Xie of Hebei Cultural Relics and Jun Li and Xiaozheng Zhang of Hebei Archeology Institute for providing access to the human remains.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratory of Ancient DNA, School of Life Science, Jilin University, Changchun, China

    • Ye Zhang
    • , Jiawei Li
    • , Yongbin Zhao
    • , Xiyan Wu
    • , Hongjie Li
    •  & Hui Zhou
  2. Laboratory of Ancient DNA, College of Life Science, Jilin Normal University, Siping, China

    • Yongbin Zhao
  3. Laboratory of Anthropology, Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology, Jilin University, Changchun, China

    • Hongjie Li
    • , Hong Zhu
    •  & Hui Zhou
  4. Department of Anthropology, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

    • Lu Yao

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Hui Zhou.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/jhg.2016.107

Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on Journal of Human Genetics website (http://www.nature.com/jhg)