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Paleo-Eskimo genetic legacy across North America

Paleo-Eskimo genetic legacy across North America


Paleo-Eskimos were the first people to settle vast regions of the American Arctic around 5,000 years ago, and were subsequently joined and largely displaced around 1,000 years ago by ancestors of the present-day Inuit and Yupik. The genetic relationship between Paleo-Eskimos and Native American populations remains uncertain. We analyze ancient and present-day genome-wide data from the Americas and Siberia, including new data from Alaskan Inupiat and West Siberian populations, and the first genome-wide DNA from ancient Aleutian Islanders, ancient northern Athabaskans, and a 4,250-year-old individual of the Chukotkan Ust’-Belaya culture. Employing new methods based on rare allele and haplotype sharing as well as established methods based on allele frequency correlations, we show that Paleo-Eskimo ancestry is widespread among populations who speak Na-Dene and Eskimo-Aleut languages. Using phylogenetic modelling with allele frequency correlations and rare variation, we present a comprehensive model for the complex peopling of North America.


  • Flegontov, P., Altinisik, N.E., Changmai, P., Rohland, N., Mallick, S., Bolnick, D.A., Candilio, F., Flegontova, O., Jeong, C., Harper, T.K. and Keating, D. (0). Paleo-Eskimo genetic legacy across North America. Biorxiv, -, p.203018.

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Peoples: Inuit, Native Americans, and Yupik | Places: American Arctic | Topics: Phylogenetic modelling | DNA Type:

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