[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic data on North and Central Asian populations are underrepresented in the literature, especially for autosomal markers. In the present study we used 812 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed across all the human autosomes and extensively studied at Yale to examine the affinities of two recently collected samples of populations: rural and cosmopolitan Mongolians from Ulaanbaatar and nomadic, Turkic-speaking Tsaatan from Mongolia near the Siberian border. We compare these two populations with each other and with a global set of populations and discuss their relationships to New World populations. Specifically, we analyze data on 521 autosomal loci (single SNPs and multi-SNP haplotypes) studied in 57 populations representing all the major geographical regions of the world. We conclude that these North and Central Asian populations are genetically distinct from all other populations in our study and may be close to the ancestral lineage leading to the New World populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modern humans have occupied New Guinea and the nearby Bismarck and Solomon archipelagos of Island Melanesia for at least 40,000 years. Previous mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies indicated that two common lineages in this region, haplogroups P and Q, were particularly diverse, with the coalescence for P considered significantly older than that for Q. In this study, we expand the definition of haplogroup Q so that it includes three major branches, each separated by multiple mutational distinctions (Q1, equivalent to the earlier definition of Q, plus Q2 and Q3). We report three whole mtDNA genomes that establish Q2 as a major Q branch. In addition, we describe 314 control region sequences that belong to the expanded haplogroups P and Q from our Southwest Pacific collection. The coalescence dates for the largest P and Q branches (P1 and Q1) are similar to each other (approximately 50,000 years old) and considerably older than prior
estimates. Newly identified Q2, which was found in Island Melanesian samples just to the east, is somewhat younger by more than 10,000 years. Our coalescence estimates should be more reliable than prior ones because they were based on significantly larger samples as well as complete mtDNA-coding region sequencing. Our estimates are roughly in accord with the current suggested dates for the first settlement of New Guinea-Sahul. The phylogeography of P and Q indicates almost total (female) isolation of ancient New Guinea-Island Melanesia from Australia that may have existed from the time of the first settlement. While Q subsequently diversified extensively in New Guinea-Island Melanesia, it has not been found in Australia. The only shared mtDNA haplogroup between Australia and New Guinea identified to date remains one minor branch of P.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Archaeology, linguistics, and existing genetic studies indicate that Oceania was settled by two major waves of migration. The first migration took place approximately 40 thousand years ago and these migrants, Papuans, colonized much of Near Oceania. Approximately 3.5 thousand years ago, a second expansion of Austronesian-speakers arrived in Near Oceania and the descendants of these people spread to the far corners of the Pacific, colonizing Remote Oceania. To assess the female contribution of these two human expansions to modern populations and to investigate the potential impact of other migrations, we obtained 1,331 whole mitochondrial genome sequences from 34 populations spanning both Near and Remote Oceania. Our results quantify the magnitude of the Austronesian expansion and demonstrate the homogenizing effect of this expansion on almost all studied populations. With regards to Papuan influence, autochthonous haplogroups support the hypothesis of a long history in Near Oceania, with some lineages suggesting a time depth of 60 thousand years, and offer insight into historical interpopulation dynamics. Santa Cruz, a population located in Remote Oceania, is an anomaly with extreme frequencies of autochthonous haplogroups of Near Oceanian origin; simulations to investigate whether this might reflect a pre-Austronesian versus Austronesian settlement of the island failed to provide unequivocal support for either scenario.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many panels of ancestry informative single nucleotide polymorphisms have been proposed in recent years for various purposes including detecting stratification in biomedical studies and determining an individual's ancestry in a forensic context. All of the panels have limitations in their generality and efficiency for routine forensic work. Some panels have used only a few populations to validate them. Some panels are based on very large numbers of SNPs thereby limiting the ability of others to test different populations. We have been working toward an efficient and globally useful panel of ancestry informative markers that is comprised of a small number of highly informative SNPs. We have developed a panel of 55 SNPs analyzed on 73 populations from around the world. We present the details of the panel and discuss its strengths and limitations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal DNA polymorphisms can provide new information and understanding of both the origins of and relationships among modern Native American populations. At the same time that autosomal markers can be highly informative, they are also susceptible to ascertainment biases in the selection of the markers to use. Identifying markers that can be used for ancestry inference among Native American populations can be considered separate from identifying markers to further the quest for history. In the current study, we are using data on nine Native American populations to compare the results based on a large haplotype-based dataset with relatively small independent sets of single nucleotide polymorphisms. We are interested in what types of limited datasets an individual laboratory might be able to collect are best for addressing two different questions of interest. First, how well can we differentiate the Native American populations and/or infer ancestry by assigning an individual to her population(s) of origin? Second, how well can we infer the historical/evolutionary relationships among Native American populations and their Eurasian origins? We conclude that only a large comprehensive dataset involving multiple autosomal markers on multiple populations will be able to answer both questions; different small sets of markers are able to answer only one or the other of these questions. Using our largest dataset, we see a general increasing distance from Old World populations from North to South in the New World except for an unexplained close relationship between our Maya and Quechua samples.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · American Journal of Physical Anthropology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using DNA to determine an individual's ancestry from among human populations is generally interesting and useful for many purposes, including admixture mapping, controlling for population structure in disease or trait association studies and forensic ancestry inference. However, to estimate ancestry, including possible admixture within an individual, as well as heterogeneity within a group of individuals, allele frequencies are necessary for what are believed to be the contributing populations. For this purpose, panels of ancestry informative markers (AIMs) have been developed.
We are presenting our work on one such panel, composed of 128 ancestry informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (AISNPs) already proposed in the literature. Compared to previous studies of these AISNPs, we have studied three times the number of individuals (4,871) in three times as many population samples (119). We have validated this panel for many ancestry assignment and admixture studies, especially those that were the rationale for the original selection of the 128 SNPs: African Americans and Mexican Americans. At the same time, the limitations of the panel for distinguishing ancestry and quantifying admixture among Eurasian populations are noted.
We demonstrate the simultaneous importance of the specific set of population samples and their relative sample sizes in the use of the structure program to determine which groups cluster together and consequently influence the ability of a marker panel to infer ancestry. We demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of this particular panel of AISNPs in a global context.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Investigative Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations
across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African
populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral
population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties.
We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent.
Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers
and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (~71%), European (~13%), and other
African (~8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the
complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have detailed a remarkable degree of genetic and linguistic diversity in Northern Island Melanesia. Here we utilize that diversity to examine two models of genetic and linguistic coevolution. The first model predicts that genetic and linguistic correspondences formed following population splits and isolation at the time of early range expansions into the region. The second is analogous to the genetic model of isolation by distance, and it predicts that genetic and linguistic correspondences formed through continuing genetic and linguistic exchange between neighboring populations. We tested the predictions of the two models by comparing observed and simulated patterns of genetic variation, genetic and linguistic trees, and matrices of genetic, linguistic, and geographic distances. The data consist of 751 autosomal microsatellites and 108 structural linguistic features collected from 33 Northern Island Melanesian populations. The results of the tests indicate that linguistic and genetic exchange have erased any evidence of a splitting and isolation process that might have occurred early in the settlement history of the region. The correlation patterns are also inconsistent with the predictions of the isolation by distance coevolutionary process in the larger Northern Island Melanesian region, but there is strong evidence for the process in the rugged interior of the largest island in the region (New Britain). There we found some of the strongest recorded correlations between genetic, linguistic, and geographic distances. We also found that, throughout the region, linguistic features have generally been less likely to diffuse across population boundaries than genes. The results from our study, based on exceptionally fine-grained data, show that local genetic and linguistic exchange are likely to obscure evidence of the early history of a region, and that language barriers do not particularly hinder genetic exchange. In contrast, global patterns may emphasize more ancient demographic events, including population splits associated with the early colonization of major world regions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human genetic diversity in the Pacific has not been adequately sampled, particularly in Melanesia. As a result, population relationships there have been open to debate. A genome scan of autosomal markers (687 microsatellites and 203 insertions/deletions) on 952 individuals from 41 Pacific populations now provides the basis for understanding the remarkable nature of Melanesian variation, and for a more accurate comparison of these Pacific populations with previously studied groups from other regions. It also shows how textured human population variation can be in particular circumstances. Genetic diversity within individual Pacific populations is shown to be very low, while differentiation among Melanesian groups is high. Melanesian differentiation varies not only between islands, but also by island size and topographical complexity. The greatest distinctions are among the isolated groups in large island interiors, which are also the most internally homogeneous. The pattern loosely tracks language distinctions. Papuan-speaking groups are the most differentiated, and Austronesian or Oceanic-speaking groups, which tend to live along the coastlines, are more intermixed. A small "Austronesian" genetic signature (always <20%) was detected in less than half the Melanesian groups that speak Austronesian languages, and is entirely lacking in Papuan-speaking groups. Although the Polynesians are also distinctive, they tend to cluster with Micronesians, Taiwan Aborigines, and East Asians, and not Melanesians. These findings contribute to a resolution to the debates over Polynesian origins and their past interactions with Melanesians. With regard to genetics, the earlier studies had heavily relied on the evidence from single locus mitochondrial DNA or Y chromosome variation. Neither of these provided an unequivocal signal of phylogenetic relations or population intermixture proportions in the Pacific. Our analysis indicates the ancestors of Polynesians moved through Melanesia relatively rapidly and only intermixed to a very modest degree with the indigenous populations there.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter investigates the fit of genetic, phenotypic, and linguistic data to two well-known models of population history. The first of these models, termed the population fissions model, emphasizes population splitting, isolation, and independent evolution. It predicts that genetic and linguistic data will be perfectly tree-like. The second model, termed isolation by distance, emphasizes genetic exchange among geographically proximate populations. It predicts a monotonic decline in genetic similarity with increasing geographic distance. While these models are overly simplistic, deviations from them were expected to provide important insights into the population history of northern Island Melanesia. The chapter finds scant support for either model because the prehistory of the region has been so complex. Nonetheless, the genetic and linguistic data are consistent with an early radiation of proto-Papuan speakers into the region followed by a much later migration of Austronesian speaking peoples. While these groups subsequently experienced substantial genetic and cultural exchange, this exchange has been insufficient to erase this history of separate migrations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter reports the mitochondrial DNA diversity in the Southwest Pacific, focusing on the extensive structure of this variation in Northern Island Melanesia. It shows that a constellation of mitochondrial variants in Northern Island Melanesia is particularly old and not found beyond the Wallace Line to the west. These variants must have developed subsequent to initial settlement some 40,000-50,000 years ago. The evidence also suggests a subsequent series of expansions into the region from the west, through the Upper Pleistocene and into the Holocene. The most recent involve haplogroup E and the so-called "Polynesian Motif" (haplogroup B4a1a1). This "Motif" clearly in Near Oceania forms a haplogroup that was introduced from Island Southeast Asia, and is closely associated with the Lapita phenomenon. There are some problems with the distribution of the "Motif" in Island Melanesia that require explanation. Overall, the mitochondrial DNA diversity is organized on a clear island-by-island basis, with the Papuan-speaking groups of the island interiors showing the greatest diversity, and the Oceanic-speaking groups on the coastlines the least.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melanesian populations are known for their diversity, but it has been hard to grasp the pattern of the variation or its underlying dynamic. Using 1,223 mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from hypervariable regions 1 and 2 (HVR1 and HVR2) from 32 populations, we found the among-group variation is structured by island, island size, and also by language affiliation. The more isolated inland Papuan-speaking groups on the largest islands have the greatest distinctions, while shore dwelling populations are considerably less diverse (at the same time, within-group haplotype diversity is less in the most isolated groups). Persistent differences between shore and inland groups in effective population sizes and marital migration rates probably cause these differences. We also add 16 whole sequences to the Melanesian mtDNA phylogenies. We identify the likely origins of a number of the haplogroups and ancient branches in specific islands, point to some ancient mtDNA connections between Near Oceania and Australia, and show additional Holocene connections between Island Southeast Asia/Taiwan and Island Melanesia with branches of haplogroup E. Coalescence estimates based on synonymous transitions in the coding region suggest an initial settlement and expansion in the region at approximately 30-50,000 years before present (YBP), and a second important expansion from Island Southeast Asia/Taiwan during the interval approximately 3,500-8,000 YBP. However, there are some important variance components in molecular dating that have been overlooked, and the specific nature of ancestral (maternal) Austronesian influence in this region remains unresolved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the paternal population history of populations in Northern Island Melanesia, 685 paternally unrelated males from 36 populations in this region and New Guinea were analyzed at 14 regionally informative binary markers and 7 short tandem repeat (STR) loci from the nonrecombining portion of the Y chromosome. Three newly defined binary markers (K6-P79, K7-P117, and M2-P87) aided in identifying considerable heterozygosity that would have otherwise gone undetected. Judging from their geographic distributions and network analyses of their associated STR profiles, 4 lineages appear to have developed in this region and to be of considerable age: K6-P79, K7-P117, M2-P87, and M2a-P22. The origins of K5-M230 and M-M4 are also confirmed as being located further west, probably in New Guinea. In the 25 adequately sampled populations, the number of different haplogroups ranged from 2 in the single most isolated group (the Aita of Bougainville), to 9, and measures of molecular diversity were generally not particularly low. The resulting pattern contradicts earlier findings that suggested far lower male-mediated diversity and gene exchange rates in the region. However, these earlier studies had not included the newly defined haplogroups. We could only identify a very weak signal of recent male Southeast Asian genetic influence (<10%), which was almost entirely restricted to Austronesian (Oceanic)-speaking groups. This contradicts earlier assumptions on the ancestral composition of these groups and requires a revision of hypotheses concerning the settlement of the islands of the central Pacific, which commenced from this region.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Molecular Biology and Evolution
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on whole mtDNA sequencing of 14 samples from Northern Island Melanesia, we characterize three formerly unresolved branches of macrohaplogroup M that we call haplogroups M27, M28, and M29. Our 1,399 mtDNA control region sequences and a literature search indicate these haplogroups have extremely limited geographical distributions. Their coding region variation suggests diversification times older than the estimated date for the initial settlement of Northern Island Melanesia. This finding indicates that they were among the earliest mtDNA variants to appear in these islands or in the ancient continent of Sahul. These haplogroups from Northern Island Melanesia extend the existing schema for macrohaplogroup M, with many independent branches distributed across Asia, East Africa, Australia, and Near Oceania.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2005 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modern humans have occupied New Guinea and the nearby Bismarck and Solomon archipelagos of Island Melanesia for at least 40,000 years. Previous mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies indicated that two common lineages in this region, haplogroups P and Q, were particularly diverse, with the coalescence for P considered significantly older than that for Q. In this study, we expand the definition of haplogroup Q so that it includes three major branches, each separated by multiple mutational distinctions (Q1, equivalent to the earlier definition of Q, plus Q2 and Q3). We report three whole-mtDNA genomes that establish Q2 as a major Q branch. In addition, we describe 314 control region sequences that belong to the expanded haplogroups P and Q from our Southwest Pacific collection. The coalescence dates for the largest P and Q branches (P1 and Q1) are similar to each other (approximately 50,000 years old) and considerably older than prior estimates. Newly identified Q2, which was found in Island Melanesian samples just to the east, is somewhat younger by more than 10,000 years. Our coalescence estimates should be more reliable than prior ones because they were based on significantly larger samples as well as complete mtDNA-coding region sequencing. Our estimates are roughly in accord with the current suggested dates for the first settlement of New Guinea-Sahul. The phylogeography of P and Q indicates almost total (female) isolation of ancient New Guinea-Island Melanesia from Australia that may have existed from the time of the first settlement. While Q subsequently diversified extensively in New Guinea-Island Melanesia, it has not been found in Australia. The only shared mtDNA haplogroup between Australia and New Guinea identified to date remains one minor branch of P.