Genetic evidence for two founding populations of the Americas.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Skoglund, Pontus; Mallick, Swapan; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Chennagiri, Niru; Hünemeier, Tábita; Petzl-Erler, Maria Luiza; Salzano, Francisco Mauro; Patterson, Nick; Reich, David
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Nature
Volume: 525
Issue: 7567
Pagination: 104-8
Date Published: 2015 Sep 3
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1476-4687
Keywords: Australia, Central America, Gene Frequency, Genome, Human, Genotype, Humans, Indians, Central American, Indians, North American, Indians, South American, New Guinea, Oceanic Ancestry Group, Phylogeny, Phylogeography, South America

Genetic studies have consistently indicated a single common origin of Native American groups from Central and South America. However, some morphological studies have suggested a more complex picture, whereby the northeast Asian affinities of present-day Native Americans contrast with a distinctive morphology seen in some of the earliest American skeletons, which share traits with present-day Australasians (indigenous groups in Australia, Melanesia, and island Southeast Asia). Here we analyse genome-wide data to show that some Amazonian Native Americans descend partly from a Native American founding population that carried ancestry more closely related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans and Andaman Islanders than to any present-day Eurasians or Native Americans. This signature is not present to the same extent, or at all, in present-day Northern and Central Americans or in a ∼12,600-year-old Clovis-associated genome, suggesting a more diverse set of founding populations of the Americas than previously accepted.

DOI: 10.1038/nature14895
Alternate Journal: Nature