//American Journal of Human Genetics

American Journal of Human Genetics

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Articles of Interest

Subdivisions of haplogroups U and C encompass mitochondrial DNA lineages of Eneolithic–Early Bronze Age Kurgan populations of western North Pontic steppe

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Prehistoric Europe experienced a marked cultural and economic shift around 4000 years ago, when the established Neolithic agriculture-based economy was replaced by herding-pastoralist industry. In recent years new data about the genetic structure of human communities living during this transition period began to emerge. At the same time, the genetic identities of the Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age (EBA) inhabitants from a prehistoric cultural crossroad in western North Pontic steppe region remain understudied. This report presents results of the investigation of maternal genetic lineages of individuals buried in kurgans constructed during the Eneolithic–EBA transition in the western part of the North Pontic Region (NPR). Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages from the interments belonging to the Eneolithic as well as the EBA cultures such as Yamna (Pit Grave), Catacomb and Babino (Mnogovalikovaya or KMK) were examined. In the 12 successfully haplotyped specimens, 75% of mtDNA lineages consisted of west Eurasian haplogroup U and its U4 and U5 sublineages. Furthermore, we identified a subgroup of east Eurasian haplogroup C in two representatives of the Yamna culture in one of the studied kurgans. Our results indicate the persistence of Mesolithic hunter–gatherer mtDNA lineages in western NPR through the EBA, as well as suggesting a mtDNA lineage continuum connecting the western NPR inhabitants of the Early Metal Ages to the North Pontic Neolithic population groups.

Peoples: Europeans | Places: - | Topics: Neolithic, Pit Grave, and Yamna | DNA Type: mtDNA

Chad Genetic Diversity Reveals an African History Marked by Multiple Holocene Eurasian Migrations

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

Abstract:

Understanding human genetic diversity in Africa is important for interpreting the evolution of all humans, yet vast regions in Africa, such as Chad, remain genetically poorly investigated. Here, we use genotype data from 480 samples from Chad, the Near East, and southern Europe, as well as whole-genome sequencing from 19 of them, to show that many populations today derive their genomes from ancient African-Eurasian admixtures. We found evidence of early Eurasian backflow to Africa in people speaking the unclassified isolate Laal language in southern Chad and estimate from linkage-disequilibrium decay that this occurred 4,750–7,200 years ago. It brought to Africa a Y chromosome lineage (R1b-V88) whose closest relatives are widespread in present-day Eurasia; we estimate from sequence data that the Chad R1b-V88 Y chromosomes coalesced 5,700–7,300 years ago. This migration could thus have originated among Near Eastern farmers during the African Humid Period. We also found that the previously documented Eurasian backflow into Africa, which occurred ∼3,000 years ago and was thought to be mostly limited to East Africa, had a more westward impact affecting populations in northern Chad, such as the Toubou, who have 20%–30% Eurasian ancestry today. We observed a decline in heterozygosity in admixed Africans and found that the Eurasian admixture can bias inferences on their coalescent history and confound genetic signals from adaptation and archaic introgression.

Peoples: - | Places: Africa and Chad | Topics: admixture, genetic isolate, genetic structure, genome-wide SNPs, human population history, R1b-V88, and whole-genome sequencing | DNA Type: Autosomal DNA

Population structure of UK Biobank and ancient Eurasians reveals adaptation at genes influencing blood pressure

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

Abstract:

Analyzing genetic differences between closely related populations can be a powerful way to detect recent adaptation. The very large sample size of the UK Biobank is ideal for using population differentiation to detect selection and enables an analysis of the UK population structure at fine resolution. In this study, analyses of 113,851 UK Biobank samples showed that population structure in the UK is dominated by five principal components (PCs) spanning six clusters: Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England, southern England, and two Welsh clusters. Analyses of ancient Eurasians revealed that populations in the northern UK have higher levels of Steppe ancestry and that UK population structure cannot be explained as a simple mixture of Celts and Saxons. A scan for unusual population differentiation along the top PCs identified a genome-wide-significant signal of selection at the coding variant rs601338 in FUT2 (p = 9.16 × 10−9). In addition, by combining evidence of unusual differentiation within the UK with evidence from ancient Eurasians, we identified genome-wide-significant (p = 5 × 10−8) signals of recent selection at two additional loci: CYP1A2-CSK and F12. We detected strong associations between diastolic blood pressure in the UK Biobank and both the variants with selection signals at CYP1A2-CSK (p = 1.10 × 10−19) and the variants with ancient Eurasian selection signals at the ATXN2-SH2B3 locus (p = 8.00 × 10−33), implicating recent adaptation related to blood pressure.

Peoples: English, Irish, Scotts, and Welsh | Places: British Isles | Topics: Blood pressure | DNA Type: Autosomal DNA

Ancestral Origins and Genetic History of Tibetan Highlanders

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

Abstract:

The origin of Tibetans remains one of the most contentious puzzles in history, anthropology, and genetics. Analyses of deeply sequenced (30×–60×) genomes of 38 Tibetan highlanders and 39 Han Chinese lowlanders, together with available data on archaic and modern humans, allow us to comprehensively characterize the ancestral makeup of Tibetans and uncover their origins. Non-modern human sequences compose ∼6% of the Tibetan gene pool and form unique haplotypes in some genomic regions, where Denisovan-like, Neanderthal-like, ancient-Siberian-like, and unknown ancestries are entangled and elevated. The shared ancestry of Tibetan-enriched sequences dates back to ∼62,000–38,000 years ago, predating the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and representing early colonization of the plateau. Nonetheless, most of the Tibetan gene pool is of modern human origin and diverged from that of Han Chinese ∼15,000 to ∼9,000 years ago, which can be largely attributed to post-LGM arrivals. Analysis of ∼200 contemporary populations showed that Tibetans share ancestry with populations from East Asia (∼82%), Central Asia and Siberia (∼11%), South Asia (∼6%), and western Eurasia and Oceania (∼1%). Our results support that Tibetans arose from a mixture of multiple ancestral gene pools but that their origins are much more complicated and ancient than previously suspected. We provide compelling evidence of the co-existence of Paleolithic and Neolithic ancestries in the Tibetan gene pool, indicating a genetic continuity between pre-historical highland-foragers and present-day Tibetans. In particular, highly differentiated sequences harbored in highlanders’ genomes were most likely inherited from pre-LGM settlers of multiple ancestral origins (SUNDer) and maintained in high frequency by natural selection.

Peoples: Han Chinese and Tibetan highlanders | Places: Tibetan Plateau | Topics: Neolithic, Paleolithic, and Tibetan gene pool | DNA Type: Autosomal DNA

Human Y Chromosome Haplogroup N: A Non-trivial Time-Resolved Phylogeography that Cuts across Language Families

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

Abstract:

The paternal haplogroup (hg) N is distributed from southeast Asia to eastern Europe. The demographic processes that have shaped the vast extent of this major Y chromosome lineage across numerous linguistically and autosomally divergent populations have previously been unresolved. On the basis of 94 high-coverage re-sequenced Y chromosomes, we establish and date a detailed hg N phylogeny. We evaluate geographic structure by using 16 distinguishing binary markers in 1,631 hg N Y chromosomes from a collection of 6,521 samples from 56 populations. The more southerly distributed sub-clade N4 emerged before N2a1 and N3, found mostly in the north, but the latter two display more elaborate branching patterns, indicative of regional contrasts in recent expansions. In particular, a number of prominent and well-defined clades with common N3a3’6 ancestry occur in regionally dissimilar northern Eurasian populations, indicating almost simultaneous regional diversification and expansion within the last 5,000 years. This patrilineal genetic affinity is decoupled from the associated higher degree of language diversity.

Peoples: | Places: Eurasia | Topics: | DNA Type: Y-DNA

Sequence Analysis of the Mitochondrial Genomes from Dutch Pedigrees with Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2003

Abstract:

The complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences for 63 Dutch pedigrees with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) were determined, 56 of which carried one of the classic LHON mutations at nucleotide (nt) 3460, 11778, or 14484. Analysis of these sequences indicated that there were several instances in which the mtDNAs were either identical or related by descent. The most striking example was a haplogroup J mtDNA that carried the 14484 LHON mutation. Four different but related mitochondrial genotypes were identified in seven of the Dutch pedigrees with LHON, including six of those described by van Senus. The control region of the founder sequence for these Dutch pedigrees with LHON matches the control-region sequence that Macmillan and colleagues identified in the founder mtDNA of French Canadian pedigrees with LHON. In addition, we obtained a perfect match between the Dutch 14484 founder sequence and the complete mtDNA sequences of two Canadian pedigrees with LHON. Those results indicate that these Dutch and French Canadian 14484 pedigrees with LHON share a common ancestor, that the single origin of the 14484 mutation in this megalineage occurred before the year 1600, and that there is a 14484/haplogroup J founder effect. We estimate that this lineage—including the 14484 LHON mutation—arose 900–1,800 years ago. Overall, the phylogenetic analyses of these mtDNA sequences conservatively indicate that a LHON mutation has arisen at least 42 times in the Dutch population. Finally, analysis of the mtDNA sequences from those pedigrees that did not carry classic LHON mutations suggested candidate pathogenic mutations at nts 9804, 13051, and 14325.

Peoples: | Places: | Topics: Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy | DNA Type: mtDNA

Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2003

Abstract:

Peoples: | Places: | Topics: | DNA Type: mtDNA

Phylogeny of Mitochondrial DNA Macrohaplogroup N in India, Based on Complete Sequencing: Implications for the Peopling of South Asia

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2004

Abstract:

To resolve the phylogeny of the autochthonous mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups of India and determine the relationship between the Indian and western Eurasian mtDNA pools more precisely, a diverse subset of 75 macrohaplogroup N lineages was chosen for complete sequencing from a collection of >800 control-region sequences sampled across India. We identified five new autochthonous haplogroups (R7, R8, R30, R31, and N5) and fully characterized the autochthonous haplogroups (R5, R6, N1d, U2a, U2b, and U2c) that were previously described only by first hypervariable segment (HVS-I) sequencing and coding-region restriction-fragment–length polymorphism analysis. Our findings demonstrate that the Indian mtDNA pool, even when restricted to macrohaplogroup N, harbors at least as many deepest-branching lineages as the western Eurasian mtDNA pool. Moreover, the distribution of the earliest branches within haplogroups M, N, and R across Eurasia and Oceania provides additional evidence for a three-founder-mtDNA scenario and a single migration route out of Africa.

Peoples: - | Places: India | Topics: Three-founder-mtDNA scenario | DNA Type: mtDNA

Mitochondrial Haplogroup U5b3: A Distant Echo of the Epipaleolithic in Italy and the Legacy of the Early Sardinians

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2009

Abstract:

Peoples: | Places: | Topics: | DNA Type: mtDNA

Phylogenetic Network for European mtDNA

Journal: American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2001

Abstract:

Peoples: | Places: | Topics: | DNA Type: mtDNA

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