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Nature. 2015 Sep 3;525(7567):104-8. doi: 10.1038/nature14895. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Genetic evidence for two founding populations of the Americas.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
2
Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
3
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
4
Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
5
Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-090, SP, Brazil.
6
Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Paraná, 81531-980 Curitiba, PR, Brazil.

Abstract

Genetic studies have consistently indicated a single common origin of Native American groups from Central and South America. However, some morphological studies have suggested a more complex picture, whereby the northeast Asian affinities of present-day Native Americans contrast with a distinctive morphology seen in some of the earliest American skeletons, which share traits with present-day Australasians (indigenous groups in Australia, Melanesia, and island Southeast Asia). Here we analyse genome-wide data to show that some Amazonian Native Americans descend partly from a Native American founding population that carried ancestry more closely related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans and Andaman Islanders than to any present-day Eurasians or Native Americans. This signature is not present to the same extent, or at all, in present-day Northern and Central Americans or in a ∼12,600-year-old Clovis-associated genome, suggesting a more diverse set of founding populations of the Americas than previously accepted.

PMID:
26196601
PMCID:
PMC4982469
DOI:
10.1038/nature14895
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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