Investigating mitochondrial DNA relationships in Neolithic Western Europe through serial coalescent simulations

Author(s): Rivollat, M., Rottier, S., Couture, C., Pemonge, M.H., Mendisco, F., Thomas, M.G., Deguilloux, M.F. and Gerbault, P.
Journal: European Journal of Human Genetics
Issue/Volume: in press
Page(s): in press
Year: 2017


Recent ancient DNA studies on European Neolithic human populations have provided persuasive evidence of a major migration of farmers originating from the Aegean, accompanied by sporadic hunter-gatherer admixture into early Neolithic populations, but increasing toward the Late Neolithic. In this context, ancient mitochondrial DNA data collected from the Neolithic necropolis of Gurgy (Paris Basin, France), the largest mitochondrial DNA sample obtained from a single archeological site for the Early/Middle Neolithic period, indicate little differentiation from farmers associated to both the Danubian and Mediterranean Neolithic migration routes, as well as from Western European hunter-gatherers. To test whether this pattern of differentiation could arise in a single unstructured population by genetic drift alone, we used serial coalescent simulations. We explore female effective population size parameter combinations at the time of the colonization of Europe 45000 years ago and the most recent of the Neolithic samples analyzed in this study 5900 years ago, and identify conditions under which population panmixia between hunter-gatherers/Early-Middle Neolithic farmers and Gurgy cannot be rejected. In relation to other studies on the current debate of the origins of Europeans, these results suggest increasing hunter-gatherer admixture into farmers’ group migrating farther west in Europe.

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Peoples: European Neolithic human populations | Places: France | Topics: Neolithic and Neolithic necropolis of Gurgy | DNA Type: mtDNA