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Curr Biol. 2014 Nov 3;24(21):R1035-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.078. Epub 2014 Oct 23.

Two ancient human genomes reveal Polynesian ancestry among the indigenous Botocudos of Brazil.

Author information

1
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
2
Department of Forensic Molecular Biology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, Netherlands.
3
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark; Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, PO Box 9515, 2300 Leiden, The Netherlands.
4
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark; Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
5
Department of Human Genetics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA; The Bioinformatics Centre, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maaløesvej 5, Copenhagen 2200, Denmark.
6
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, South Parks Road, Dyson Perrins Building, Oxford University, OX1 3QY, UK.
7
Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 208, Kgs. Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark.
8
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
9
The Bioinformatics Centre, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maaløesvej 5, Copenhagen 2200, Denmark.
10
Department of Biology, Emory University, 1510 Clifton Rd NE, Rm 2006, Atlanta, GA 30322.
11
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.
12
Setor de Antropologia Biológica, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
13
Instituto de Ciências Humanas e da Informação - ICHI, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil.
14
Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 502 Wartik Laboratory, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
15
Centre for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics, Departments of Integrative Biology and Statistics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140; Ancestry.com DNA LLC, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.
16
Watson School of Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
17
Department of Anthropology 5240 W.H. Sewell Social Science Building 1180 Observatory Dr. University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706, USA.
18
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), School of Life Sciences, Station 15, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
19
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark; Centre for Theoretical Evolutionary Genomics, Departments of Integrative Biology and Statistics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140.
20
AMS 14C Dating Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
21
LCHES, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam St, Cambridge CB2 1QH, UK.
22
Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies, Department of Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Bioscience, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
23
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address: stonekg@eva.mpg.de.
24
Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Brazil. Electronic address: spena@dcc.ufmg.br.
25
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark. Electronic address: ewillerslev@snm.ku.dk.

Abstract

Understanding the peopling of the Americas remains an important and challenging question. Here, we present (14)C dates, and morphological, isotopic and genomic sequence data from two human skulls from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, part of one of the indigenous groups known as 'Botocudos'. We find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component. Radiocarbon analysis of the skulls shows that the individuals had died prior to the beginning of the 19th century. Our findings could either represent genomic evidence of Polynesians reaching South America during their Pacific expansion, or European-mediated transport.

PMID:
25455029
PMCID:
PMC4370112
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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