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Curr Biol. 2017 Oct 23;27(20):3202-3208.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.030. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

40,000-Year-Old Individual from Asia Provides Insight into Early Population Structure in Eurasia.

Author information

1
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; Laboratory on Molecular Paleontology of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China.
2
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 04103, Germany.
3
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.
4
Laboratory on Molecular Paleontology of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China; Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 04103, Germany.
5
Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 04103, Germany.
6
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
7
Laboratory on Molecular Paleontology of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China; Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 04103, Germany. Electronic address: kelso@eva.mpg.de.
8
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; Laboratory on Molecular Paleontology of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100044, China. Electronic address: fuqiaomei@ivpp.ac.cn.

Abstract

By at least 45,000 years before present, anatomically modern humans had spread across Eurasia [1-3], but it is not well known how diverse these early populations were and whether they contributed substantially to later people or represent early modern human expansions into Eurasia that left no surviving descendants today. Analyses of genome-wide data from several ancient individuals from Western Eurasia and Siberia have shown that some of these individuals have relationships to present-day Europeans [4, 5] while others did not contribute to present-day Eurasian populations [3, 6]. As contributions from Upper Paleolithic populations in Eastern Eurasia to present-day humans and their relationship to other early Eurasians is not clear, we generated genome-wide data from a 40,000-year-old individual from Tianyuan Cave, China, [1, 7] to study his relationship to ancient and present-day humans. We find that he is more related to present-day and ancient Asians than he is to Europeans, but he shares more alleles with a 35,000-year-old European individual than he shares with other ancient Europeans, indicating that the separation between early Europeans and early Asians was not a single population split. We also find that the Tianyuan individual shares more alleles with some Native American groups in South America than with Native Americans elsewhere, providing further support for population substructure in Asia [8] and suggesting that this persisted from 40,000 years ago until the colonization of the Americas. Our study of the Tianyuan individual highlights the complex migration and subdivision of early human populations in Eurasia.

KEYWORDS:

Tianyuan; Upper Paleolithic; ancient DNA; human prehistory; population structure

PMID:
29033327
PMCID:
PMC6592271
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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