via Cell, 08 July 2021: A recent paper in Cell looking at genetic diversity and migration between Southeast Asia and China, particularly around the region of Guangxi.
Past human genetic diversity and migration between southern China and Southeast Asia have not been well characterized, in part due to poor preservation of ancient DNA in hot and humid regions. We sequenced 31 ancient genomes from southern China (Guangxi and Fujian), including two ∼12,000- to 10,000-year-old individuals representing the oldest humans sequenced from southern China. We discovered a deeply diverged East Asian ancestry in the Guangxi region that persisted until at least 6,000 years ago. We found that ∼9,000- to 6,000-year-old Guangxi populations were a mixture of local ancestry, southern ancestry previously sampled in Fujian, and deep Asian ancestry related to Southeast Asian Hòabìnhian hunter-gatherers, showing broad admixture in the region predating the appearance of farming. Historical Guangxi populations dating to ∼1,500 to 500 years ago are closely related to Tai-Kadai and Hmong-Mien speakers. Our results show heavy interactions among three distinct ancestries at the crossroads of East and Southeast Asia.