Maori Origins, Y-Chromosome Haplotypes and Implications for Human History in the Pacific
Peter A. Underhill,1* Giuseppe Passarino,1,5 Alice A. Lin,1 Sangkot Marzuki,2 Peter J. Oefner,3 L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza,1 and Geoffrey K. Chambers4
1Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
2The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Jakarta, Indonesia
3Stanford Genome Technology Center, Palo Alto, California, USA
4Institute for Molecular Systematics, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
5Department Cell Biology, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy
An assessment of 28 pertinent binary genetic markers on the non-recombining portion of the Y
chromosome (NRY) in New Zealand Maori and other relevant populations has revealed a diverse
genetic paternal heritage of extant Maori. A maximum parsimony phylogeny was constructed in
which nine of the 25 possible binary haplotypes were observed. Although ~40% of the samples
have haplotypes of unequivocal European origin, an equivalent number of samples have a single
binary haplotype that is also observed in Indonesia and New Guinea, indicative of common indigenous
Melanesian ancestry. The balance of the lineages has either typical East Asian signatures or
alternative compositions consistent with their affinity to Melanesia or New Guinea. Molecular
analysis of mtDNA variation confirms the presence of a single predominant characteristic Southeast
Asian (9-bp deletion in the Region V) lineage. The Y-chromosome results support a pattern
of complex interrelationships between Southeast Asia, Melanesia, and Polynesia, in contrast to
mtDNA and linguistic data, which uphold a rapid and homogeneous Austronesian expansion.
The Y-chromosome data highlight a distinctive gender-modulated pattern of differential gene flow
in the history of Polynesia. Hum Mutat 17:271–280, 2001.

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