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Journal Articles American Journal of Human Genetics Year : 2018

The Comoros Show the Earliest Austronesian Gene Flow into the Swahili Corridor

Nicolas Brucato
  • Function : Author
Murray Cox
  • Function : Author
Joseph Wainaina Ng'Ang'A
  • Function : Author
Mohammed Omar
  • Function : Author
Bertrand Fin
  • Function : Author
Anne Boland
Jean-François Deleuze
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1015006
Mark Stoneking
Alexander Adelaar
  • Function : Author
Alison Crowther
  • Function : Author
Nicole Boivin
François-Xavier Ricaut

Abstract

At the dawn of the second millennium, the expansion of the Indian Ocean trading network aligned with the emergence of an outward-oriented community along the East African coast to create a cosmopolitan cultural and trading zone known as the Swahili Corridor. On the basis of analyses of new genome-wide genotyping data and uniparental data in 276 individuals from coastal Kenya and the Comoros islands, along with large-scale genetic datasets from the Indian Ocean rim, we reconstruct historical population dynamics to show that the Swahili Corridor is largely an eastern Bantu genetic continuum. Limited gene flows from the Middle East can be seen in Swahili and Comorian populations at dates corresponding to historically documented contacts. However, the main admixture event in southern insular populations, particularly Comorian and Malagasy groups, occurred with individuals from Island Southeast Asia as early as the 8th century, reflecting an earlier dispersal from this region. Remarkably, our results support recent archaeological and linguistic evidence-based suggestions that the Comoros archipelago was the earliest location of contact between Austronesian and African populations in the Swahili Corridor.

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Nicolas Brucato, Verónica Fernandes, Stéphane Mazières, Pradiptajati Kusuma, Murray Cox, et al.. The Comoros Show the Earliest Austronesian Gene Flow into the Swahili Corridor. American Journal of Human Genetics, 2018, 102 (1), pp.58-68. ⟨10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.11.011⟩. ⟨hal-02112694⟩
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