Identification of African-Specific Admixture between Modern and Archaic Humans

the GenomeAsia 100K Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent work has demonstrated that two archaic human groups (Neanderthals and Denisovans) interbred with modern humans and contributed to the contemporary human gene pool. These findings relied on the availability of high-coverage genomes from both Neanderthals and Denisovans. Here we search for evidence of archaic admixture from a worldwide panel of 1,667 individuals using an approach that does not require the presence of an archaic human reference genome. We find no evidence for archaic admixture in the Andaman Islands, as previously claimed, or on the island of Flores, where Homo floresiensis fossils have been found. However, we do find evidence for at least one archaic admixture event in sub-Saharan Africa, with the strongest signal in Khoesan and Pygmy individuals from Southern and Central Africa. The locations of these putative archaic admixture tracts are weighted against functional regions of the genome, consistent with the long-term effects of purifying selection against introgressed genetic material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1254-1261
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Volume105
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2019

Keywords

  • Denisovan
  • GenomeAsia project
  • Neanderthal
  • archaic humans
  • ghost admixture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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