Human Genetics

, Volume 113, Issue 3, pp 244–252 | Cite as

The origins and genetic structure of three co-resident Chinese Muslim populations: the Salar, Bo'an and Dongxiang

  • Wei Wang
  • Cheryl Wise
  • Tom Baric
  • Michael L. Black
  • Alan H. Bittles
Original Investigation


A genome-based investigation of three Muslim populations, the Salar, Bo'an, and Dongxiang, was conducted on 212 individuals (148 males, 64 females) co-resident in Jishisan County, a minority autonomous region located in the province of Gansu, PR China. The Salar are believed to be of Turkic origin, whereas the Bo'an and Dongxiang both speak Mongolian. Biparental dinucleotide markers on chromosomes 13 and 15 indicated elevated mean homozygosity in the Salar (0.32), Bo'an (0.32), and Dongxiang (0.27), equivalent to inbreeding coefficients (F is ) of 0.16; 0.12; 0.01, confirming varying levels of endogamous and consanguineous marriage in all three communities. Y-chromosome unique event polymorphisms (UEPs) showed that males in the three communities shared common ancient origins, with 80–90% of haplotypes in common. However, the high levels of community-specific Y-chromosome STR haplotypes strongly suggested the action(s) of founder effect, genetic drift and preferential consanguinity during more recent historical time. By comparison with the marked inter-community differentiation revealed by the Y-chromosome STRs (29.4%), the mtDNA data indicated similarity between the female lineages of each community with just 1.2% inter-community variation. The combined use of these different marker systems gives an in-depth historical perspective, and provides evidence of past inter-marriage between genetically diverse male founders of each community and Han Chinese females with subsequent community endogamy.


Consanguineous Marriage Much Recent Common Ancestor Muslim Population Family Planning Commission Muslim Minority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The cooperation of the Salar, Bo'an, Dongxiang communities is acknowledged with gratitude. Assistance in sample collection was provided by the Institute of Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Thanks go to Miss S. G. Sullivan for her technical support in the genotyping work. Financial support was provided by an Australian Research Council Small Grant (number A350 352).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheryl Wise
    • 1
  • Tom Baric
    • 1
  • Michael L. Black
    • 1
  • Alan H. Bittles
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Human GeneticsEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Medical Centre of Peking University-Hong Kong University of Sciences and TechnologyShenZhenPR China

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