Ashot Margaryan

Ashot Margaryan
University of Copenhagen · Globe Institute

PhD

About

62
Publications
104,973
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2,205
Citations
Citations since 2017
56 Research Items
2197 Citations
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Introduction
Ashot Margaryan currently works at the University of Copenhagen

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
Full-text available
Recent improvements in the analysis of ancient biomolecules from human remains and associated dental calculus have provided new insights into the prehistoric diet and genetic diversity of our species. Here we present a multi-omics study, integrating metagenomic and proteomic analyses of dental calculus, and human ancient DNA analysis of the petrous...
Article
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Human populations have been shaped by catastrophes that may have left long-lasting signatures in their genomes. One notable example is the second plague pandemic that entered Europe in ca. 1,347 CE and repeatedly returned for over 300 years, with typical village and town mortality estimated at 10%–40%.¹ It is assumed that this high mortality affect...
Article
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The Eastern Arc Mountains in Tanzania represent a hotspot for biological diversity of global importance. The level of endemism is high, and Eastern Arc biodiversity has been studied extensively in vertebrates and invertebrates, including millipedes. However, millipede evolution is vastly understudied at the molecular level. Therefore, we used next-...
Preprint
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The transitions from foraging to farming and later to pastoralism in Stone Age Eurasia (c. 11-3 thousand years before present, BP) represent some of the most dramatic lifestyle changes in human evolution. We sequenced 317 genomes of primarily Mesolithic and Neolithic individuals from across Eurasia combined with radiocarbon dates, stable isotope da...
Preprint
Recent improvements in the analysis of ancient biomolecules from human remains and associated dental calculus have provided new insights into the prehistoric diet and past genetic diversity of our species. Here we present a multi-omics study, integrating genomic and proteomic analyses of two post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) individuals from San Teod...
Article
Full-text available
Natural history museum collections worldwide represent a tremendous resource of information on past and present biodiversity. Fish, reptiles, amphibians and many invertebrate collections have often been preserved in ethanol for decades or centuries and our knowledge on the genomic and metagenomic research potential of such material is limited. Here...
Preprint
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Background Recently, there has been a push towards the extended barcode concept of utilising chloroplast genomes (cpGenome) and nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) sequences for molecular identification of plants instead of the standard barcode regions. These extended barcodes has a wide range of applications, including biodiversity monitoring and assess...
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Only five species of the once-diverse Rhinocerotidae remain, making the reconstruction of their evolutionary history a challenge to biologists since Darwin. We sequenced genomes from five rhinoceros species (three extinct and two living), which we compared to existing data from the remaining three living species and a range of outgroups. We identif...
Article
Cave sediments have been shown to preserve ancient DNA but so far have not yielded the genome-scale information of skeletal remains. We retrieved and analyzed human and mammalian nuclear and mitochondrial environmental “shotgun” genomes from a single 25,000-year-old Upper Paleolithic sediment sample from Satsurblia cave, western Georgia:first, a hu...
Preprint
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The origins of viral pathogens and the age of their association with humans remains largely elusive. To date, there is no direct evidence about the diversity of viral infections in early modern humans pre-dating the Holocene. We recovered two near-complete genomes (5.2X and 0.7X) of human adenovirus C (HAdV-C), as well as low-coverage genomes from...
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Enigmatic phenomena have sparked the imagination of people around the globe into creating folkloric creatures. One prime example is Zana of Abkhazia (South Caucasus), a well-documented 19th century female who was captured living wild in the forest. Zana's appearance was sufficiently unusual, that she was referred to by locals as an Almasty—the anal...
Article
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Large vertebrates are extremely sensitive to anthropogenic pressure, and their populations are declining fast. The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is a paradigmatic case: this African megaherbivore suffered a remarkable decline in the last 150 years due to human activities. Its subspecies, the northern (NWR) and the southern white rhinoceros...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03473-8.
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03328-2.
Article
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Human Y chromosome haplogroup J1-M267 is a common male lineage in West Asia. One high-frequency region—encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, southern Mesopotamia, and the southern Levant—resides ~ 2000 km away from the other one found in the Caucasus. The region between them, although has a lower frequency, nevertheless demonstrates high genetic dive...
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The Gjerrild burial provides the largest and best-preserved assemblage of human skeletal material presently known from the Single Grave Culture (SGC) in Denmark. For generations it has been debated among archaeologists if the appearance of this archaeological complex represents a continuation of the previous Neolithic communities, or was facilitate...
Article
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Whole-genome sequencing projects are increasingly populating the tree of life and characterizing biodiversity1,2,3,4. Sparse taxon sampling has previously been proposed to confound phylogenetic inference5, and captures only a fraction of the genomic diversity. Here we report a substantial step towards the dense representation of avian phylogenetic...
Article
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Biodiversity monitoring projects using environmental DNA techniques are becoming increasingly widespread. However, these techniques depend heavily on the quality and richness of the available DNA reference database against which the DNA sequences are queried. To create a comprehensive DNA sequence database for future DNA‐based biodiversity assessme...
Article
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The maritime expansion of Scandinavian populations during the Viking Age (about ad 750–1050) was a far-flung transformation in world history1,2. Here we sequenced the genomes of 442 humans from archaeological sites across Europe and Greenland (to a median depth of about 1×) to understand the global influence of this expansion. We find the Viking pe...
Article
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The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is one of five extant rhinoceros species and among the rarest large mammals on Earth. Once widespread across Southeast Asia, it is now on the verge of extinction, with only one wild population remaining (estimated at ~60 individuals) on the island of Java, Indonesia. To assess the past genetic diversity o...
Article
Smallpox, one of the most devastating human diseases, killed between 300 million and 500 million people in the 20th century alone. We recovered viral sequences from 13 northern European individuals, including 11 dated to ~600-1050 CE, overlapping the Viking Age, and reconstructed near-complete variola virus genomes for four of them. The samples pre...
Article
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The recovery and analysis of ancient DNA and protein from archaeological bone is time-consuming and expensive to carry out, while it involves the partial or complete destruction of valuable or rare specimens. The fields of palaeogenetic and palaeoproteomic research would benefit greatly from techniques that can assess the molecular quality prior to...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Armenians, a population inhabiting the region in West Asia known as the Armenian Highland, has been argued to show a remarkable degree of population continuity since the Early Neolithic. Here we test the degree of continuity of this population as well as its plausible origin, by collating modern and ancient genomic data, and adding a number of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Large vertebrates are extremely sensitive to anthropogenic pressure, and their populations are declining fast. The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is a paradigmatic case: this African megaherbivore suffered a remarkable population reduction in the last 150 years due to human activities. The two white rhinoceros subspecies, the northern (NWR)...
Article
Full-text available
The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is one of five extant rhinoceros species and among the rarest large mammals on Earth. Once widespread across Southeast Asia, it is now on the verge of extinction, with only one wild population remaining (estimated at ~60 individuals) on the island of Java, Indonesia. To assess the past genetic diversity o...
Article
Full-text available
As the only endemic neotropical parrot to have recently lived in the northern hemisphere, the Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) was an iconic North American bird. The last surviving specimen died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918 [1]. The cause of its extinction remains contentious: besides excessive mortality associated to habitat destructio...
Article
In this study, we explore the Late Pleistocene (LP) vertebrate faunal diversity in southeastern Lesser Caucasus based on morphological and genetic identification of fossil bones from Karin Tak cave. For the first time in this under-studied region, we used a bulk bone metabarcoding genetic approach to complement traditional morphology-based taxonomi...
Preprint
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The Viking maritime expansion from Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) marks one of the swiftest and most far-flung cultural transformations in global history. During this time (c. 750 to 1050 CE), the Vikings reached most of western Eurasia, Greenland, and North America, and left a cultural legacy that persists till today. To understand the...
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Northeastern Siberia has been inhabited by humans for more than 40,000 years but its deep population history remains poorly understood. Here we investigate the late Pleistocene population history of northeastern Siberia through analyses of 34 newly recovered ancient genomes that date to between 31,000 and 600 years ago. We document complex populati...
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Complex processes in the settling of the Americas The expansion into the Americas by the ancestors of present day Native Americans has been difficult to tease apart from analyses of present day populations. To understand how humans diverged and spread across North and South America, Moreno-Mayar et al. sequenced 15 ancient human genomes from Alaska...
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with In this Article, Angela M. Taravella and Melissa A. Wilson Sayres have been added to the author list (associated with: School of Life Sciences, Center for Evolution and Medicine, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA). The author list and Author Information section have been corrected online.
Preprint
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Far northeastern Siberia has been occupied by humans for more than 40 thousand years. Yet, owing to a scarcity of early archaeological sites and human remains, its population history and relationship to ancient and modern populations across Eurasia and the Americas are poorly understood. Here, we report 34 ancient genome sequences, including two fr...
Article
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Ancient migrations in Southeast Asia The past movements and peopling of Southeast Asia have been poorly represented in ancient DNA studies (see the Perspective by Bellwood). Lipson et al. generated sequences from people inhabiting Southeast Asia from about 1700 to 4100 years ago. Screening of more than a hundred individuals from five sites yielded...
Article
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Significance The majority of viral genomic sequences available today are fewer than 50 years old. Parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a ubiquitous human pathogen causing fifth disease in children, as well as other conditions. By isolating B19V DNA from human remains between ∼0.5 and 6.9 thousand years old, we show that B19V has been associated with humans for...
Article
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Ancient steppes for human equestrians The Eurasian steppes reach from the Ukraine in Europe to Mongolia and China. Over the past 5000 years, these flat grasslands were thought to be the route for the ebb and flow of migrant humans, their horses, and their languages. de Barros Damgaard et al. probed whole-genome sequences from the remains of 74 indi...
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For thousands of years the Eurasian steppes have been a centre of human migrations and cultural change. Here we sequence the genomes of 137 ancient humans (about 1× average coverage), covering a period of 4,000 years, to understand the population history of the Eurasian steppes after the Bronze Age migrations. We find that the genetics of the Scyth...
Preprint
Full-text available
Two distinct population models have been put forward to explain present-day human diversity in Southeast Asia. The first model proposes long-term continuity (Regional Continuity model) while the other suggests two waves of dispersal (Two Layer model). Here, we use whole-genome capture in combination with shotgun sequencing to generate 25 ancient hu...
Article
Full-text available
Recent ancient DNA (aDNA) studies of human pathogens have provided invaluable insights into their evolutionary history and prevalence in space and time. Most of these studies were based on DNA extracted from teeth or postcranial bones. In contrast, no pathogen DNA has been reported from the petrous bone which has become the most desired skeletal el...
Article
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Present-day hunter-gatherers (HGs) live in multilevel social groups essential to sustain a population structure characterized by limited levels of within-band relatedness and inbreeding. When these wider social networks evolved among HGs is unknown. Here, we investigate whether the contemporary HG strategy was already present in the Upper Paleolith...
Article
The South Caucasus, situated between the Black and Caspian Seas, geographically links Europe with the Near East and has served as a crossroad for human migrations for many millennia [1-7]. Despite a vast archaeological record showing distinct cultural turnovers, the demographic events that shaped the human populations of this region is not known [8...
Preprint
Poor DNA preservation is the most limiting factor in ancient genomic research. In the vast majority of ancient bones and teeth, endogenous DNA molecules only represent a minor fraction of the whole DNA extract, rendering traditional shot-gun sequencing approaches cost-ineffective for whole-genome characterization. Based on ancient human bone sample...

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