Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Evolutionary Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The ADH1B Arg47His polymorphism in East Asian populations and expansion of rice domestication in history

Yi Peng14, Hong Shi1, Xue-bin Qi1, Chun-jie Xiao2, Hua Zhong3, Run-lin Z Ma3 and Bing Su1*

Author affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology and Kunming Primate Research Centre, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China

2 Human Genetics Centre, School of Life Science, Yunnan University, Kunming, China

3 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

4 Graduate School of Chinese Academy Sciences, Beijing, China

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:15  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-15

Published: 20 January 2010

Abstract

Background

The emergence of agriculture about 10,000 years ago marks a dramatic change in human evolutionary history. The diet shift in agriculture societies might have a great impact on the genetic makeup of Neolithic human populations. The regionally restricted enrichment of the class I alcohol dehydrogenase sequence polymorphism (ADH1BArg47His) in southern China and the adjacent areas suggests Darwinian positive selection on this genetic locus during Neolithic time though the driving force is yet to be disclosed.

Results

We studied a total of 38 populations (2,275 individuals) including Han Chinese, Tibetan and other ethnic populations across China. The geographic distribution of the ADH1B*47His allele in these populations indicates a clear east-to-west cline, and it is dominant in south-eastern populations but rare in Tibetan populations. The molecular dating suggests that the emergence of the ADH1B*47His allele occurred about 10,000~7,000 years ago.

Conclusion

We present genetic evidence of selection on the ADH1BArg47His polymorphism caused by the emergence and expansion of rice domestication in East Asia. The geographic distribution of the ADH1B*47His allele in East Asia is consistent with the unearthed culture relic sites of rice domestication in China. The estimated origin time of ADH1B*47His allele in those populations coincides with the time of origin and expansion of Neolithic agriculture in southern China.