Indian Journal of Human Genetics
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 137-138

A comparison of Fulani and Nadar HLA

Governors State University, University Park, IL 60484, USA

Date of Web Publication26-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
Clyde Winters
Governors State University, University Park, IL 60484
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6866.96686

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Here recent studies of Nadar and Fulani HLA-A and HLA-B were compared to determine if these populations were related. The analysis revealed that the Nadar and Fulani populations share a number of unique alleles including A*101, A*0211, A*03011, A*3303, B*3501, B*3701, and B*51011. The study suggests a former residence of these diverse populations in same geographical area.

Keywords: Dravidian, Fulani, human leukocyte antigen, Nadar, polymorphic DNA

How to cite this article:
Winters C. A comparison of Fulani and Nadar HLA. Indian J Hum Genet 2012;18:137-8

How to cite this URL:
Winters C. A comparison of Fulani and Nadar HLA. Indian J Hum Genet [serial online] 2012 [cited 2016 Jun 1];18:137-8. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Aravanan [1],[2],[3] and Sergent [4] are sure that the Dravidian speakers originated in Africa. These researchers and others use linguistic, anthropological, and archaeological evidences to support this idea. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] The Dravidian speakers are the dominant linguistic groups in South India. These languages are also spoken in Iran and Russia. [8]

Upadhyaya and Upadhyaya [6] claimed that the Fulani and Dravidiacn languages are related. The Fulani live in West Africa.

Aravanan [2],[3] and Winters [8] have pointed out that in addition to shared phenotypical features the Fulani and Dravidian tribal groups such as the Kadaro and other tribal groups such as the Irula and Pularya have the sickle cell trait. [2],[3],[9]

The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele distribution has been studied in India and West Africa. The HLA system provides us with a means to define the relatedness of varying ethnic groups. Polymorphic DNA variants allow us to make inferences about prehistoric interactions among populations. Using HLA we can determine the relatedness of populations.

The HLA system is an excellent tool in anthropology because it can determine the genetic relatedness of different populations. In this paper, we will compare Fulani and Nadar HLA systems to determine if Africans and Indians are related.

   Materials and Methods Top

In this analysis of Nadar and Fulani HLA, we will examine studies of HLA-A and HLA-B loci related to the Nadar and Fulani populations. Each study was analyzed to discover the HLA genotype and allele frequency of each molecular marker among each ethnic group in the study.

   Results Top

The Nadar is an Indian tribal group that lives in South India. [10],[11] Tribal groups like the Nadar are very conservative and many researchers believe that they represent the purest form of Dravidian. [12],[13]

The Fulani live in Africa. They are a nomadic people who are spread from North Africa. They are spread from North Africa and Chad into the Senegal region. [14]

Shankarkumar et al.[15] have done an extensive analysis of the Nadar HLA. Ellis et al.[15] have studied the Fulani HLA system.

In [Table 1], we list the shared HLA-A and HLA-B alleles shared by the Nadar and Fulani. The Nadaro and Fulani share a number of HLA alleles. The congruent HLA alleles include A*101, A*0211, A*3303, and B*370 at low frequency. The HLA with the greatest frequency between both groups was A*03011, B*3501, and B*51011.
Table 1: Nadaro and Fulani HLAs

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

The presence of shared HLA genome indicates that a genetic relationship may exist between the Nadar and Fulani peoples. This finding supported the linguistic [2],[3],[4],[6],[7],[8] and arcaheological [4],[7],[8] evidences.

The present study provides some interesting findings. There are several shared Fulani and Nadar HLAs such as A*0301, B*3501, and B*51011, which are unique to the Nadar, but absent in other Indian populations. [14] This comparison of HLA systems make it clear that these alleles unique to the Nadar are relatively high among the Fulani. [15]

   Conclusion Top

The finding of this study suggests that some Fulani and Nadar demonstrate an indistinguishable HLA profile. The shared HLA genomics appear to indicate a former habitat in which both groups thrived. The close relationship between the Dravidian and Fulani languages leads to the inference that these populations were formerly in close contact and the separation of the Nadar and Fulani does not date back to the original exist of AMH from Africa.

If this relationship does not date back to the exit of AMH from Africa when did this separation probably take place? There is one climatic event that had a significant impact on population movements in Africa. This event was the change of the Sahara from a fertile savanna to a harsh desert.

Lal [16] and Singh [17] have discovered archaeological evidence that link the South Indian Megalitic and Indian civilizations generally to the C-Group people of Nubia. This suggests that the ancestors of the Nadar and Fulani probably emigrated to West Africa and India after the rise of a hyperarid environment in the Saharan region and Sahel of Middle Africa.

   References Top

1.Aravanan KP. Physical and cultural similarities between Dravidians and Africans. J Tamil Stud 1976;10:23-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Aravanan KP. Dravidians and Africans. Madras; 1979.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Aravanan KP. Notable negroid elements in Dravidian India. J Tamil Stud 1980.   Back to cited text no. 3
4.Sergent B. Genèse de L'Inde. Paris: Payot; 1992.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Lahovary N. Dravidian o0 rigins and the West. Madras: Longmans; 1963.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Upadhyaya P, Upadhyaya SP. Les liens entre Kerala et l"Afrique tels qu'ils resosortent des survivances culturelles et linguistiques. Bull L'IFAN 1979;1:100-32.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Winters CA. Did the Dravidian Speakers Originate in Africa? BioEssays 2007;27:497-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Winters CA. Origin and spread of Dravidian speakers. Int J Hum Genet 2008;8:325-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Winters CA. Sickel Cell Anemia in India and Africa. Int J Hematol 2010;7.   Back to cited text no. 9
10.Majumdar DN. Races and Cultures of India Bombay: Asia Publishing House; 1961.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Singh KS. People of India: An Introduction. New Delhi: Oxford University Press; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Thomas R, Banerjee M. HLA-A allele frequency and haplotype distribution in the Dravidian tribal communities of South India. Indian J Hum Genet 2005;11:140-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
  Medknow Journal  
13.Thomas R, Nair SB, Banerjee M. HLA-B and HLA-C alleles and haplotypes in the Dravidian tribal populations of southern India. Tissue Antigens 2003;64:58-65.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Ellis JM, Mack S, Johnson AH, Leke RF, Quakyi I, Johnson AH, et al. Diversity is demonstrated in class 1 HLA-A and HLA-B alleles in Cameroon Africa: Descriptions of HLA-A*03012, *2612, *3006 and HLA-B *1403, *4016, *4703. Tissue Antigens 2000;56:291-302.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Shankarkumar U, Sridharan B, Pitchappan RM. HLA diversity among Nadars, a primitive Dravidian caste of South India. Tissue Antigens 2003;62:542-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Lal BB. "The Only Asian Expedition in threatened Nubia: Work by an India Mission at Afyeh and Tumas". London: The Illustrated Times; 1963.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Singh HN. History and archaeology of Black-and Red ware. Vedic Manchester . 1982.  Back to cited text no. 17


  [Table 1]


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