The survey of human genetic diversity and similarity is an important issue which addresses the very basic question of human evolution and history. In this study, the researchers will study the extent of genetic diversity among the populations of insular Southeast Asia for the following principal reason. This region of the globe has witnessed several major developments in the evolution and dispersal of humans. However, questions such as whether the Austronesians are the most likely founders of Polynesian Islands need to be addressed in greater detail. Also, the question arises whether there is any genetic link between the island Southeast Asians and the New Guinea populations in spite of their linguistic differences. Although recent studies using mitochondrial DNA variation have addressed some of these issues, our knowledge will remain incomplete in the absence of information using nuclear DNA polymorphisms, as these researchers will do. Two significant strengths of this proposal are: (1) they already possess a large repository of DNA samples collected from the representative populations of the area, which can be analyzed immediately to achieve the specific aims of this study; (2) via existing and prospective collaborations with other investigators, who are studying mitochondrial DNA variation in the same populations and at the same nuclear DNA loci in the populations of Oceania and Australia, this study will bring about a combined effort which will yield important insights into population structure and evolutionary history of the greater Pacific region.
|Effective start/end date
|8/15/96 → 7/31/98
- National Science Foundation: $156,813.00