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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Denisova Admixture and the First Modern Human Dispersals into Southeast Asia and Oceania

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929711003958
American Journal of Human Genetics Reich, D. et al. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 89, 1-13 (2011)
"It has recently been shown that ancestors of New Guineans and
Bougainville Islanders have inherited a proportion of their ancestry from
Denisovans, an archaic hominin group from Siberia. However, only a sparse sampling
of populations from Southeast Asia and Oceania were analyzed. Here, we
quantify Denisova admixture in 33 additional populations from Asia and
Oceania. Aboriginal Australians, Near Oceanians, Polynesians, Fijians, east
Indonesians, and Mamanwa (a “Negrito” group from the Philippines) have all
inherited genetic material from Denisovans, but mainland East Asians, western
Indonesians, Jehai (a Negrito group from Malaysia), and Onge (a Negrito group from the
Andaman Islands) have not. These results indicate that Denisova gene flow
occurred into the common ancestors of New Guineans, Australians, and Mamanwa
but not into the ancestors of the Jehai and Onge and suggest that relatives
of present-day East Asians were not in Southeast Asia when the Denisova
gene flow occurred. Our finding that descendants of the earliest inhabitants of
Southeast Asia do not all harbor Denisova admixture is inconsistent
with a history in which the Denisova interbreeding occurred in mainland Asia
and then spread over Southeast Asia, leading to all its earliest modern human
inhabitants. Instead, the data can be most parsimoniously explained if
the Denisova gene flow occurred in Southeast Asia itself. Thus, archaic
Denisovans must have lived over an extraordinarily broad geographic and
ecological range, from Siberia to tropical Asia."
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