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Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Apr 6;90(4):675-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.03.002.

A "Copernican" reassessment of the human mitochondrial DNA tree from its root.

Author information

1
Estonian Biocentre and Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. behardm@usernet.com

Erratum in

  • Am J Hum Genet. 2012 May 4;90(5):936.

Abstract

Mutational events along the human mtDNA phylogeny are traditionally identified relative to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence, a contemporary European sequence published in 1981. This historical choice is a continuous source of inconsistencies, misinterpretations, and errors in medical, forensic, and population genetic studies. Here, after having refined the human mtDNA phylogeny to an unprecedented level by adding information from 8,216 modern mitogenomes, we propose switching the reference to a Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence, which was identified by considering all available mitogenomes from Homo neanderthalensis. This "Copernican" reassessment of the human mtDNA tree from its deepest root should resolve previous problems and will have a substantial practical and educational influence on the scientific and public perception of human evolution by clarifying the core principles of common ancestry for extant descendants.

PMID:
22482806
PMCID:
PMC3322232
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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