The team of scientists at CSIR carry out first-ever genetic studies on people of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 islands and scattered over approximately 78,000 square km of the Arabian Sea with population of approximately 65,000. Recently, the team of scientists at CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) carried out first-ever genetic studies on the people of Lakshadweep Islands. The team was was led by Dr. K Thangaraj . The scientist have studied the major islands of Agatti, Andorth, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep and demonstrated a close genetic link of Lakshadweep islanders with people from Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. They analyzed DNA samples of 557 individuals from these 8 major islands for mitochondrial DNA and 166 individuals for Y chromosome markers. The paternal and maternal ancestries of the majority of island populations suggest their arrival from distinct sources. They found that the maternal ancestry was closer to South Indian populations, whereas the paternal ancestry is more similar to the Maldives and North India. In conclusion, the first genetic data suggest that the majority of human ancestry in Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia.