//Quaternary International

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Quaternary International

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Articles of Interest

Genetic studies of the peopling of the Americas: What insights do diachronic mitochondrial genome datasets provide?

Journal: Quaternary International | Year: 2017


The timing of the entry of the first humans into the Americas has been a source of debate for decades amongst archaeologists and geneticists. Here we briefly review the evidence for current hypotheses on the peopling process of the Americas and discuss how ancient mitochondrial DNA can provide a unique temporal perspective. We propose that, in absence of skeletal remains from a proto-Native American population for which DNA shows direct ancestry to modern indigenous lineages, high-resolution diachronic mitochondrial genetics will help refine our understanding of the human dispersal to and occupation of the Americas since the first entry in the continent. The relatively low cost of this methodology may empower indigenous communities and heritage organizations. Ultimately, it would promote the training and support of future research leaders who have a relevant cultural background to offer a fresh perspective on the peopling of the Americas.

Peoples: Native Americans | Places: North America and South America | Topics: proto-Native American population | DNA Type: Ancient DNA and mtDNA

Antiquity of mtDNA lineage D1g from the southern cone of South America supports pre-Clovis migration

Journal: Quaternary International | Year: 2017


The southern cone of South America has been an important source of information regarding the early peopling of the Americas. The discovery of the Monte Verde site was revolutionary; it led to wide acceptance of the pre-Clovis hypothesis and its corollary, the coastal migration route. Although numerous additional pre-Clovis sites have been reported in South America, debate continues about the timing of the earliest human migration. Perhaps because of the paucity of very early sites in North America, researchers there are increasingly focused on the genomic evidence.

The mitochondrial subhaplogroup D1g described in 2012 and found in Amerindian populations of southern Chile and Argentina, represents today as Monte Verde did before, an interesting paradox that has not yet received much attention. The age calculated for D1g, between 25,000 and 19,000 cal yr BP is extremely old for a South American mitochondrial subhaplogroup. The anomalous age of this haplogroup does not fit the currently accepted framework for the other mtDNA haplogroups in the Americas. In this article I compare D1g old age with those from other published D phylogenies, using the rho calculation methodology in order to test the reliability of this older age estimate. Might this lineage be evidence for an early pre-Clovis migration?

Peoples: Native Americans | Places: South America | Topics: early pre-Clovis migration | DNA Type: Ancient DNA and mtDNA

Western Eurasian genetic influences in the Indonesian Archipelago

Journal: Quaternary International | Year: 2016


Western Eurasia, notably the Near East and South Asia (Indian sub-continent), has interacted with Indonesia through Indian Ocean trade (the Maritime Silk Route) for more than 2000 years. The Indianization, and later Islamization, of Indonesia was enacted largely through trading activities, but also spread with help from the many Indianized and Islamic kingdoms that reigned over parts of the Indonesian archipelago during this time. Western Eurasian interaction left behind not only imported trade goods and cultural features, but also genetic traces. To locate the primary areas of Western Eurasian genetic influence in Indonesia, we have assembled published uniparental genetic data from ∼2900 Indonesian individuals. Frequency distributions show that Western Eurasian paternal lineages are found more commonly than Western Eurasian maternal lineages. Furthermore, the origins of these paternal lineages are more diverse than the corresponding maternal lineages, predominantly tracing back to South West and South Asia, and the Indian sub-continent, respectively. Indianized kingdoms in the Indonesian archipelago likely played a major role in dispersing Western Eurasian lineages, as these kingdoms overlap geographically with the current distribution of individuals carrying Western Eurasian genetic markers. Our data highlight the important role of these Western Eurasian migrants in contributing to the complexity of genetic diversity across the Indonesian archipelago today.

Peoples: - | Places: Indonesia, South Asia, and Western Eurasia | Topics: Indian Ocean trade, Indianization, and Islamization | DNA Type: mtDNA and Y-DNA

2016-09-19T23:30:33+00:00 September 19th, 2016|