Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans


Ancient DNA can reveal historical events that are difficult to discern through the study of present-day individuals. To investigate European population history around the agricultural transition, we sequenced complete genomes from a ~7,000 year old early farmer from the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) from Germany and an ~8,000 year old hunter-gatherer from Luxembourg. We also generated genome wide data from seven ~8,000 year old hunter-gatherers from Sweden. We compared these genomes and published ancient DNA to genome wide data from 2345 present-day individuals from 185 diverse populations to show that at least three ancestral groups contributed genetic material to present-day Europeans. The first are Ancient North Eurasians (ANE), who are more closely related to Upper Paleolithic Siberians than to any present-day population. The second are West European Hunter-Gatherers (WHG), related to the Loschbour individual, who contributed to all Europeans but not to Near Easterners. The third are Early European Farmers (EEF), who were mainly of Near Eastern origin but also harbored WHG-related ancestry. We model the deep relationships of these populations and show that about ~44% of the ancestry of EEF derived from a basal Eurasian lineage that split prior to the separation of all other non-African lineages.

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Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans. Johannes Krause, David Reich, Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, Alissa Mittnik. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397635)

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