Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 911–919 | Cite as

Complex genetic origin of Indian populations and its implications

  • Rakesh Tamang
  • Lalji Singh
  • Kumarasamy Thangaraj


Indian populations are classified into various caste, tribe and religious groups, which altogether makes them very unique compared to rest of the world. The long-term firm socio-religious boundaries and the strict endogamy practices along with the evolutionary forces have further supplemented the existing high-level diversity. As a result, drawing definite conclusions on its overall origin, affinity, health and disease conditions become even more sophisticated than was thought earlier. In spite of these challenges, researchers have undertaken tireless and extensive investigations using various genetic markers to estimate genetic variation and its implication in health and diseases. We have demonstrated that the Indian populations are the descendents of the very first modern humans, who ventured the journey of out-of-Africa about 65,000 years ago. The recent gene flow from east and west Eurasia is also evident. Thus, this review attempts to summarize the unique genetic variation among Indian populations as evident from our extensive study among approximately 20,000 samples across India.


Haplogroup migration mitochondrial DNA population Y-chromosome 



We thank all our national and international collaborators for their constant cooperation and efficient teamwork. We also thank the students of various universities across the country for their valuable contributions in sampling. LS and KT are supported by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India. Financial supports to LS and KT from Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India, and Department of Science and Technology (DST), India, are gratefully acknowledged. LS is also supported by Bhatnagar Fellowship (CSIR) and Bose Fellowship (DST).


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rakesh Tamang
    • 1
  • Lalji Singh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kumarasamy Thangaraj
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular BiologyHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Genome FoundationHyderabadIndia
  3. 3.Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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