Confounding effects of microbiome on the susceptibility of TNFSF15 to Crohn’s disease in the Ryukyu Islands
The Ryukyu Islands are located to the southwest of the Japanese archipelago. Archaeological evidence has revealed the existence of prehistoric cultural differentiation between the northern Ryukyu islands of Amami and Okinawa, and the southern Ryukyu islands of Miyako and Yaeyama. To examine a genetic subdivision in the Ryukyu Islands, we conducted genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism typing of inhabitants from the Okinawa Islands, the Miyako Islands, and the Yaeyama Islands. Principal component and cluster analyses revealed genetic differentiation among the island groups, especially between Okinawa and Miyako. No genetic affinity was observed between aboriginal Taiwanese and any of the Ryukyu populations. The genetic differentiation observed between the inhabitants of the Okinawa Islands and the Miyako Islands is likely to have arisen due to genetic drift rather than admixture with people from neighboring regions. Based on the observed genetic differences, the divergence time between the inhabitants of Okinawa and Miyako islands was dated to the Holocene. These findings suggest that the Pleistocene inhabitants, whose bones have been found on the southern Ryukyu Islands, did not make a major genetic contribution, if any, to the present-day inhabitants of the southern Ryukyu Islands.