//BMC Evolutionary Biology

BMC Evolutionary Biology

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Articles of Interest

mtDNA structure: the women who formed the Brazilian Northeast

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Background
The distribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages in Brazil is heterogeneous due to different regional colonization dynamics. Northeastern Brazil, although being an important region in terms of human imigration and ethnic admixture, has little information regarding its population mtDNA composition. Here, we determine which mitochondrial lineages contributed to the formation of the Northeastern Brazilian population. Our sample consisted of 767 individuals distributed as follows i) 550 individuals from eight Northeastern states (Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, and Bahia) which were sequenced for mtDNA hypervariable segments I, II, and III; ii) 217 individuals from Alagoas and Pernambuco (previously published data). Data analysis was performed through sequence alignment and Haplogrep 2.0 haplogroup assignment tools. Furthermore, maternal ancestry distribution was contextualized and, when possible, related to historical events to better understand the biological interactions and population dynamics that occurred in this region since the beginning of colonization.

Results
Unexpectedly, Amerindian mitochondrial ancestry was the highest in the Northeastern region overall, followed by African, European and non-Amerindian Asian, unlike previous results for this region. Alagoas and Pernambuco states, however, showed a larger African mtDNA frequency. The Northeastern region showed an intraregional heterogeneous distribution regarding ancestral groups, in which states/mesoregions located to the north had a prevalent Amerindian ancestral frequency and those to the south had predominance of African ancestry. Moreover, results showed great diversity of European haplogroups and the presence of non-Amerindian Asian haplogroups.

Conclusions
Our findings are in disagreement with previous investigations that suggest African mitochondrial ancestry is the most prevalent in the Brazilian Northeast. The predominance of Amerindian lineages exemplifies the importance of indigenous women in the formation of the population, despite intense African slave entry and conflicts with European settlers. The variable distribution of ancestral groups observed in the Northeast is in accordance with historical records showing the similarities with colonization dynamics occurred in the Amazon region and the Brazilian Southeast. Moreover, the variety of European haplogroups suggests multiple origins of founding groups, specially those found in Western European populations.

Peoples: African Brazilians and Brazilains | Places: Brazilian Northeast | Topics: Amerindian lineages | DNA Type: mtDNA

Carriers of mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup R colonized Eurasia and Australasia from a southeast Asia core area

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Background
The colonization of Eurasia and Australasia by African modern humans has been explained, nearly unanimously, as the result of a quick southern coastal dispersal route through the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent, and the Indochinese Peninsula, to reach Australia around 50 kya. The phylogeny and phylogeography of the major mitochondrial DNA Eurasian haplogroups M and N have played the main role in giving molecular genetics support to that scenario. However, using the same molecular tools, a northern route across central Asia has been invoked as an alternative that is more conciliatory with the fossil record of East Asia. Here, we assess as the Eurasian macrohaplogroup R fits in the northern path.

Results
Haplogroup U, with a founder age around 50 kya, is one of the oldest clades of macrohaplogroup R in western Asia. The main branches of U expanded in successive waves across West, Central and South Asia before the Last Glacial Maximum. All these dispersions had rather overlapping ranges. Some of them, as those of U6 and U3, reached North Africa. At the other end of Asia, in Wallacea, another branch of macrohaplogroup R, haplogroup P, also independently expanded in the area around 52 kya, in this case as isolated bursts geographically well structured, with autochthonous branches in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines.

Conclusions
Coeval independently dispersals around 50 kya of the West Asia haplogroup U and the Wallacea haplogroup P, points to a halfway core area in southeast Asia as the most probable centre of expansion of macrohaplogroup R, what fits in the phylogeographic pattern of its ancestor, macrohaplogroup N, for which a northern route and a southeast Asian origin has been already proposed.

Peoples: Eurasians | Places: Australia, Eurasia, India, Indochinese Peninsula, and Southeast Asia | Topics: mtDNA P, mtDNA R, mtDNA U3, and mtDNA U6 | DNA Type: mtDNA

Late Danubian mitochondrial genomes shed light into the Neolithisation of Central Europe in the 5th millennium BC

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Background

Recent aDNA studies are progressively focusing on various Neolithic and Hunter – Gatherer (HG) populations, providing arguments in favor of major migrations accompanying European Neolithisation. The major focus was so far on the Linear Pottery Culture (LBK), which introduced the Neolithic way of life in Central Europe in the second half of 6th millennium BC. It is widely agreed that people of this culture were genetically different from local HGs and no genetic exchange is seen between the two groups. From the other hand some degree of resurgence of HGs genetic component is seen in late Neolithic groups belonging to the complex of the Funnel Beaker Cultures (TRB). Less attention is brought to various middle Neolithic cultures belonging to Late Danubian sequence which chronologically fall in between those two abovementioned groups. We suspected that genetic influx from HG to farming communities might have happened in Late Danubian cultures since archaeologists see extensive contacts between those two communities.

Results

Here we address this issue by presenting 5 complete mitochondrial genomes of various late Danubian individuals from modern-day Poland and combining it with available published data. Our data show that Late Danubian cultures are maternally closely related to Funnel Beaker groups instead of culturally similar LBK.

Conclusions

We assume that it is an effect of the presence of individuals belonging to U5 haplogroup both in Late Danubians and the TRB. The U5 haplogroup is thought to be a typical for HGs of Europe and therefore we argue that it is an additional evidence of genetic exchange between farming and HG groups taking place at least as far back as in middle Neolithic, in the Late Danubian communities.

Peoples: Europeans | Places: Europe | Topics: Late Danubian communities | DNA Type: mtDNA

A genetic chronology for the Indian Subcontinent points to heavily sex-biased dispersals

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Background

India is a patchwork of tribal and non-tribal populations that speak many different languages from various language families. Indo-European, spoken across northern and central India, and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh, has been frequently connected to the so-called “Indo-Aryan invasions” from Central Asia ~3.5 ka and the establishment of the caste system, but the extent of immigration at this time remains extremely controversial. South India, on the other hand, is dominated by Dravidian languages. India displays a high level of endogamy due to its strict social boundaries, and high genetic drift as a result of long-term isolation which, together with a very complex history, makes the genetic study of Indian populations challenging.

Results

We have combined a detailed, high-resolution mitogenome analysis with summaries of autosomal data and Y-chromosome lineages to establish a settlement chronology for the Indian Subcontinent. Maternal lineages document the earliest settlement ~55–65 ka (thousand years ago), and major population shifts in the later Pleistocene that explain previous dating discrepancies and neutrality violation. Whilst current genome-wide analyses conflate all dispersals from Southwest and Central Asia, we were able to tease out from the mitogenome data distinct dispersal episodes dating from between the Last Glacial Maximum to the Bronze Age. Moreover, we found an extremely marked sex bias by comparing the different genetic systems.

Conclusions

Maternal lineages primarily reflect earlier, pre-Holocene processes, and paternal lineages predominantly episodes within the last 10 ka. In particular, genetic influx from Central Asia in the Bronze Age was strongly male-driven, consistent with the patriarchal, patrilocal and patrilineal social structure attributed to the inferred pastoralist early Indo-European society. This was part of a much wider process of Indo-European expansion, with an ultimate source in the Pontic-Caspian region, which carried closely related Y-chromosome lineages, a smaller fraction of autosomal genome-wide variation and an even smaller fraction of mitogenomes across a vast swathe of Eurasia between 5 and 3.5 ka.

Peoples: Indo-European language carriers | Places: India | Topics: endogamy | DNA Type: Autosomal DNA, mtDNA, and Y-DNA

Phylogeography of human Y-chromosome haplogroup Q3-L275 from an academic/citizen science collaboration

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2017

Abstract:

Background

The Y-chromosome haplogroup Q has three major branches: Q1, Q2, and Q3. Q1 is found in both Asia and the Americas where it accounts for about 90% of indigenous Native American Y-chromosomes; Q2 is found in North and Central Asia; but little is known about the third branch, Q3, also named Q1b-L275. Here, we combined the efforts of population geneticists and genetic genealogists to use the potential of full Y-chromosome sequencing for reconstructing haplogroup Q3 phylogeography and suggest possible linkages to events in population history.

Results

We analyzed 47 fully sequenced Y-chromosomes and reconstructed the haplogroup Q3 phylogenetic tree in detail. Haplogroup Q3-L275, derived from the oldest known split within Eurasian/American haplogroup Q, most likely occurred in West or Central Asia in the Upper Paleolithic period. During the Mesolithic and Neolithic epochs, Q3 remained a minor component of the West Asian Y-chromosome pool and gave rise to five branches (Q3a to Q3e), which spread across West, Central and parts of South Asia. Around 3–4 millennia ago (Bronze Age), the Q3a branch underwent a rapid expansion, splitting into seven branches, some of which entered Europe. One of these branches, Q3a1, was acquired by a population ancestral to Ashkenazi Jews and grew within this population during the 1st millennium AD, reaching up to 5% in present day Ashkenazi.

Conclusions

This study dataset was generated by a massive Y-chromosome genotyping effort in the genetic genealogy community, and phylogeographic patterns were revealed by a collaboration of population geneticists and genetic genealogists. This positive experience of collaboration between academic and citizen science provides a model for further joint projects. Merging data and skills of academic and citizen science promises to combine, respectively, quality and quantity, generalization and specialization, and achieve a well-balanced and careful interpretation of the paternal-side history of human populations.

Peoples: Ashkenazi Jews, Iranians, and Tatars | Places: Eurasia | Topics: Citizen science | DNA Type: Y-SNP

Carriers of human mitochondrial DNA macrohaplogroup M colonized India from southeastern Asia

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2016

Abstract:

Background

From a mtDNA dominant perspective, the exit from Africa of modern humans to colonize Eurasia occurred once, around 60 kya, following a southern coastal route across Arabia and India to reach Australia short after. These pioneers carried with them the currently dominant Eurasian lineages M and N. Based also on mtDNA phylogenetic and phylogeographic grounds, some authors have proposed the coeval existence of a northern route across the Levant that brought mtDNA macrohaplogroup N to Australia. To contrast both hypothesis, here we reanalyzed the phylogeography and respective ages of mtDNA haplogroups belonging to macrohaplogroup M in different regions of Eurasia and Australasia.

Results

The macrohaplogroup M has a historical implantation in West Eurasia, including the Arabian Peninsula. Founder ages of M lineages in India are significantly younger than those in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Near Oceania. Moreover, there is a significant positive correlation between the age of the M haplogroups and its longitudinal geographical distribution. These results point to a colonization of the Indian subcontinent by modern humans carrying M lineages from the east instead the west side.

Conclusions

The existence of a northern route, previously proposed for the mtDNA macrohaplogroup N, is confirmed here for the macrohaplogroup M. Both mtDNA macrolineages seem to have differentiated in South East Asia from ancestral L3 lineages. Taking this genetic evidence and those reported by other disciplines we have constructed a new and more conciliatory model to explain the history of modern humans out of Africa.

Peoples: - | Places: Arabian Peninsula and West Eurasia | Topics: Out-of-Africa | DNA Type: mtDNA

The history of the North African mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6 gene flow into the African, Eurasian and American continents

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2014

Abstract:

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

Phylogeny and antiquity of M macrohaplogroup inferred from complete mt DNA sequence of Indian specific lineages

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2005

Abstract:

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

Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2010

Abstract:

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

Tracing the legacy of the early Hainan Islanders – a perspective from mitochondrial DNA

Journal: BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011

Abstract:

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

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