'Mutiny on the Bounty': The genetic history of Norfolk Island reveals extreme gender-biased admixture

Benton, Miles C., Stuart, Shani, Bellis, Claire, Macartney-Coxson, Donia, Eccles, David, Curran, Joanne E., Chambers, Geoff, Blangero, John, Lea, Rod A., & Griffiths, Lyn R. (2015) 'Mutiny on the Bounty': The genetic history of Norfolk Island reveals extreme gender-biased admixture. Investigative Genetics, 6, Article no. 11.

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Abstract

Background

The Pacific Oceania region was one of the last regions of the world to be settled via human migration. Here we outline a settlement of this region that has given rise to a uniquely admixed population. The current Norfolk Island population has arisen from a small number of founders with mixed Caucasian and Polynesian ancestry, descendants of a famous historical event. The ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ has been told in history books, songs and the big screen, but recently this story can be portrayed through comprehensive molecular genetics. Written history details betrayal and murder leading to the founding of Pitcairn Island by European mutineers and the Polynesian women who left Tahiti with them. Investigation of detailed genealogical records supports historical accounts.

Findings

Using genetics, we show distinct maternal Polynesian mitochondrial lineages in the present day population, as well as a European centric Y-chromosome phylogeny. These results comprehensively characterise the unique gender-biased admixture of this genetic isolate and further support the historical records relating to Norfolk Island.

Conclusions

Our results significantly refine previous population genetic studies investigating Polynesian versus Caucasian diversity in the Norfolk Island population and add information that is beneficial to future disease and gene mapping studies.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 94367
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Norfolk Island, mitochondria, Y-chromosome, genetic isolate, population history
DOI: 10.1186/s13323-015-0028-9
ISSN: 2041-2223
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Benton et al.
Copyright Statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 04 Apr 2016 23:07
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 21:14

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