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PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5151. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005151. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Genetic evidence of geographical groups among Neanderthals.

Author information

1
Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Bio-culturelle, UMR6578 Université de la Méditerranée -CNRS-EFS, Marseille, France.

Abstract

The Neanderthals are a well-distinguished Middle Pleistocene population which inhabited a vast geographical area extending from Europe to western Asia and the Middle East. Since the 1950s paleoanthropological studies have suggested variability in this group. Different sub-groups have been identified in western Europe, in southern Europe and in the Middle East. On the other hand, since 1997, research has been published in paleogenetics, carried out on 15 mtDNA sequences from 12 Neanderthals. In this paper we used a new methodology derived from different bioinformatic models based on data from genetics, demography and paleoanthropology. The adequacy of each model was measured by comparisons between simulated results (obtained by BayesianSSC software) and those estimated from nucleotide sequences (obtained by DNAsp4 software). The conclusions of this study are consistent with existing paleoanthropological research and show that Neanderthals can be divided into at least three groups: one in western Europe, a second in the Southern area and a third in western Asia. Moreover, it seems from our results that the size of the Neanderthal population was not constant and that some migration occurred among the demes.

PMID:
19367332
PMCID:
PMC2664900
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0005151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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