Complex history of admixture between modern humans and Neandertals.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Vernot, Benjamin; Akey, Joshua M
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Am J Hum Genet
Volume: 96
Issue: 3
Pagination: 448-53
Date Published: 2015 Mar 5
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1537-6605
Keywords: Animals, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, European Continental Ancestry Group, Gene Flow, Genetics, Population, Genome, Humans, Models, Genetic, Neanderthals

Recent analyses have found that a substantial amount of the Neandertal genome persists in the genomes of contemporary non-African individuals. East Asians have, on average, higher levels of Neandertal ancestry than do Europeans, which might be due to differences in the efficiency of purifying selection, an additional pulse of introgression into East Asians, or other unexplored scenarios. To better define the scope of plausible models of archaic admixture between Neandertals and anatomically modern humans, we analyzed patterns of introgressed sequence in whole-genome data of 379 Europeans and 286 East Asians. We found that inferences of demographic history restricted to neutrally evolving genomic regions allowed a simple one-pulse model to be robustly rejected, suggesting that differences in selection cannot explain the differences in Neandertal ancestry. We show that two additional demographic models, involving either a second pulse of Neandertal gene flow into the ancestors of East Asians or a dilution of Neandertal lineages in Europeans by admixture with an unknown ancestral population, are consistent with the data. Thus, the history of admixture between modern humans and Neandertals is most likely more complex than previously thought.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.01.006
Alternate Journal: Am. J. Hum. Genet.
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