MAFBO’s member Francois-Xavier Ricaut supervised a study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution showing that the Banjar of South Kalimantan are at the origin of the Austronesian settlement off the eastern coast of Africa 1000 years ago.
Malagasy genetic ancestry comes from an historical Malay trading post in Southeast Borneo. Malagasy genetic diversity results from an exceptional proto-globalisation process that took place over a thousand years ago across the Indian Ocean. Previous efforts to locate the Asian origin of Malagasy highlighted Borneo broadly as a potential source, but so far no firm source populations were identified. Here, we have generated genome-wide data from two Southeast Borneo populations, the Banjar and the Ngaju, together with published data from populations across the Indian Ocean region. We find strong support for an origin of the Asian ancestry of Malagasy among the Banjar. This group emerged from the long-standing presence of a Malay Empire trading post in Southeast Borneo, which favoured admixture between the Malay and an autochthonous Borneo group, the Ma’anyan. Reconciling genetic, historical and linguistic data, we show that the Banjar, in Malay-led voyages, were the most probable Asian source among the analysed groups in the founding of the Malagasy gene pool.
Malagasy genetic ancestry comes from an historical Malay trading post in Southeast Borneo. Nicolas Brucato, Pradiptajati Kusuma, Murray P. Cox, Denis Pierron, Gludhug A. Purnomo, Alexander Adelaar, Toomas Kivisild, Thierry Letellier, Herawati Sudoyo and François-Xavier Ricaut published the 5th July 2016 in Molecular Biology and Evolution. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msw117