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Nature. 2014 Jan 16;505(7483):403-6. doi: 10.1038/nature12788. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

A mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos.

Author information

1
Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
2
1] Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany [2] Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China.
3
1] Centro de Investigación Sobre la Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid-Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain [2] Departamento de Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
4
1] Centro de Investigación Sobre la Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, Universidad Complutense de Madrid-Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain [2] Área de Paleontología, Depto. de Geografía y Geología, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, 28871 Madrid, Spain.
5
Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana, Paseo Sierra de Atapuerca, 09002 Burgos, Spain.
6
1] Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, C/Marcel·lí Domingo s/n (Edifici W3), Campus Sescelades, 43007 Tarragona, Spain [2] Àrea de Prehistòria, Dept. d'Història i Història de l'Art, Univ. Rovira i Virgili, Fac. de Lletres, Av. Catalunya, 35, 43002 Tarragona, Spain.

Abstract

Excavations of a complex of caves in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain have unearthed hominin fossils that range in age from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene. One of these sites, the 'Sima de los Huesos' ('pit of bones'), has yielded the world's largest assemblage of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils, consisting of at least 28 individuals dated to over 300,000 years ago. The skeletal remains share a number of morphological features with fossils classified as Homo heidelbergensis and also display distinct Neanderthal-derived traits. Here we determine an almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos and show that it is closely related to the lineage leading to mitochondrial genomes of Denisovans, an eastern Eurasian sister group to Neanderthals. Our results pave the way for DNA research on hominins from the Middle Pleistocene.

PMID:
24305051
DOI:
10.1038/nature12788
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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