Phylogenetic relationships of the Orang Asli (Proto Malay) tribe based on the HVS II gene sequences

B. M. Md-Zain, M. S. The, K. C. Ang, L. S. Lim, S. Yaakop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Proto Malays are the second largest Orang Asli tribe in Peninsular Malaysia. There are six subtribes of Proto Malays, namely the Jakun, Kanaq, Kuala/Laut, Seletar, Temuan and Semelai. Very little is known about the phylogenetic relationships among the Proto Malay subtribes. This study aims to reveal the phylogenetic relationships of the Proto Malays using HVS II D-Loop sequences. Blood samples were collected from all six subtribes. DNA was extracted and 369 bp of HVS II (D-Loop region) was amplified. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using Maximum Parsimony (MP) and the Neighbour Joining (NJ) method. The HVS II D-Loop gene sequence analysis revealed close phylogenetic relationships between all the Proto Malay subtribes as they can be assembled into a single clade. Amongst all the Proto Malay subtribes, the Kanaq shared the closest phylogenetic relationships among themselves with the lowest pairwise genetic distance of 0.0055 and they also formed a monophyletic clade in the NJ and MP tree. The NJ tree explained the phylogenetic relationships of the Proto Malay subtribes the best, as it portrayed the genetic distances of the subjects involved apart from the branching patterns. This study provides an insight into how different Proto Malay subtribes are genetically related to each other although their physical attributes may differ. It also distinguishes the uniqueness of each subtribe based on their genetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalMalaysian Applied Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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