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Nature. 2016 Feb 25;530(7591):429-33. doi: 10.1038/nature16544. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Ancient gene flow from early modern humans into Eastern Neanderthals.

Author information

1
Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
2
Efi Arazi School of Computer Science, Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya 46150, Israel.
3
Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14850, USA.
4
Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF-CSIC), 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
5
Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
6
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
7
Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, IVPP, CAS, Beijing 100044, China.
8
Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
9
Área de Prehistoria, Departamento de Historia, Universidad de Oviedo, 33011 Oviedo, Spain.
10
Departamento de Paleobiología, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, 28006 Madrid, Spain.
11
Anthropology Center of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
12
Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute for Quaternary Paleontology and Geology, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
13
Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain.
14
Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CRG-CNAG), 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
15
Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S2, Canada.
16
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.
17
Simons Center for Quantitative Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.

Abstract

It has been shown that Neanderthals contributed genetically to modern humans outside Africa 47,000-65,000 years ago. Here we analyse the genomes of a Neanderthal and a Denisovan from the Altai Mountains in Siberia together with the sequences of chromosome 21 of two Neanderthals from Spain and Croatia. We find that a population that diverged early from other modern humans in Africa contributed genetically to the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains roughly 100,000 years ago. By contrast, we do not detect such a genetic contribution in the Denisovan or the two European Neanderthals. We conclude that in addition to later interbreeding events, the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains and early modern humans met and interbred, possibly in the Near East, many thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

PMID:
26886800
PMCID:
PMC4933530
DOI:
10.1038/nature16544
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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