Hyderabad, Oct 17 (PTI) Different ethnic groups of Nepal — Newar, Magar, Sherpa, Brahmin, Tharu, Tamang — and population from Kathmandu and Eastern Nepal have derived their maternal ancestry from the lowland population rather than the highlanders, according to research.
An international team, led by K Thangaraj, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), studied the maternal ancestry and published the results on October 15, 2022 in the journal Human Genetics, said a press release from the CCMB on Monday.
Being at the crossroad of the Himalayan region, Nepal offers a unique ground to understand South and East Asian genetic ancestry, it said.
The Himalayan Mountain range of Nepal has served as a geographical barrier to migration, while at the same time its valleys have served as continuous trade and exchange. Yet, despite the long-term economic and cultural importance of Himalayan trade routes, little is known about the early population history of the region, the release said.
“This is the first largest study on the Nepali population, where we have analysed the mitochondrial DNA sequence of 999 individuals from different ethnic groups of Nepal, including Newar, Magar, Sherpa, Brahmin, Tharu, Tamang, and population from Kathmandu and Eastern Nepal and found that most Nepali population have derived their maternal ancestry from the lowland population than the highlanders,” said K Thangaraj, who is presently the director of DBT- Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad.
The results obtained from this study helped the researchers in filling several gaps about the history and past demographic events that shaped the present Nepalese genetic diversity, the release further said.
The study showed the ancient genetic make-up of Nepalis was gradually transformed along the migratory path to Nepal, the carriers of some lineage may have crossed the Himalayas into Nepal, most likely via Southeast Tibet, between 3,800 and 6,000 years ago, said Rajdip Basnet, the first author of the study from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. PTI GDK NVG NVG
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