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Mendez F.L.,University of Arizona | Krahn T.,Genomic Research Center | Schrack B.,Genomic Research Center | Krahn A.-M.,Genomic Research Center | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2013

We report the discovery of an African American Y chromosome that carries the ancestral state of all SNPs that defined the basal portion of the Y chromosome phylogenetic tree. We sequenced ∼240 kb of this chromosome to identify private, derived mutations on this lineage, which we named A00. We then estimated the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) for the Y tree as 338 thousand years ago (kya) (95% confidence interval = 237-581 kya). Remarkably, this exceeds current estimates of the mtDNA TMRCA, as well as those of the age of the oldest anatomically modern human fossils. The extremely ancient age combined with the rarity of the A00 lineage, which we also find at very low frequency in central Africa, point to the importance of considering more complex models for the origin of Y chromosome diversity. These models include ancient population structure and the possibility of archaic introgression of Y chromosomes into anatomically modern humans. The A00 lineage was discovered in a large database of consumer samples of African Americans and has not been identified in traditional hunter-gatherer populations from sub-Saharan Africa. This underscores how the stochastic nature of the genealogical process can affect inference from a single locus and warrants caution during the interpretation of the geographic location of divergent branches of the Y chromosome phylogenetic tree for the elucidation of human origins. © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics.


Ansari-Pour N.,University of Tehran | Monino Y.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Duque C.,Co-operative University of Colombia | Gallego N.,Pontifical Bolivarian University | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2016

The Palenque, a black community in rural Colombia, have an oral history of fugitive African slaves founding a free village near Cartagena in the seventeenth century. Recently, linguists have identified some 200 words in regular use that originate in a Kikongo language, with Yombe, mainly spoken in the Congo region, being the most likely source. The non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome (NRY) and mitochondrial DNAwere analysed to establish whether there was greater similarity between present-day members of the Palenque and Yombe than between the Palenque and 42 other African groups (for all individuals, n = 2799) from which forced slaves might have been taken. NRY data are consistent with the linguistic evidence that Yombe is the most likely group from which the original male settlers of Palenque came. Mitochondrial DNA data suggested substantial maternal sub-Saharan African ancestry and a strong founder effect but did not associate Palenque with any particular African group. In addition, based on cultural data including inhabitants’ claims of linguistic differences, it has been hypothesized that the two districts of the village (Abajo and Arriba) have different origins, with Arriba founded by men originating in Congo and Abajo by those born in Colombia. Although significant genetic structuring distinguished the two from each other, no supporting evidence for this hypothesis was found. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Pagani L.,University of Bologna | Schiffels S.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Gurdasani D.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Danecek P.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | And 15 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2015

The predominantly African origin of all modern human populations is well established, but the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. Two alternative routes, via Egypt and Sinai or across the Bab el Mandeb strait into Arabia, have traditionally been proposed as feasible gateways in light of geographic, paleoclimatic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. Distinguishing among these alternatives has been difficult. We generated 225 whole-genome sequences (225 at 8× depth, of which 8 were increased to 30×; Illumina HiSeq 2000) from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 individuals). West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world. Using five Ethiopian and three Egyptian high-coverage masked genomes and the multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) approach, we estimated the genetic split times of Egyptians and Ethiopians from non-African populations at 55,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively, whereas that of West Africans was estimated to be 75,000 years ago. Both the haplotype and MSMC analyses thus suggest a predominant northern route out of Africa via Egypt. © 2015 The Authors.


Pagani L.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Schiffels S.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Gurdasani D.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Danecek P.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | And 14 more authors.
American journal of human genetics | Year: 2015

The predominantly African origin of all modern human populations is well established, but the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. Two alternative routes, via Egypt and Sinai or across the Bab el Mandeb strait into Arabia, have traditionally been proposed as feasible gateways in light of geographic, paleoclimatic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. Distinguishing among these alternatives has been difficult. We generated 225 whole-genome sequences (225 at 8× depth, of which 8 were increased to 30×; Illumina HiSeq 2000) from six modern Northeast African populations (100 Egyptians and five Ethiopian populations each represented by 25 individuals). West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world. Using five Ethiopian and three Egyptian high-coverage masked genomes and the multiple sequentially Markovian coalescent (MSMC) approach, we estimated the genetic split times of Egyptians and Ethiopians from non-African populations at 55,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively, whereas that of West Africans was estimated to be 75,000 years ago. Both the haplotype and MSMC analyses thus suggest a predominant northern route out of Africa via Egypt. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Gurdasani D.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Gurdasani D.,University of Cambridge | Carstensen T.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Carstensen T.,University of Cambridge | And 51 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Given the importance of Africa to studies of human origins and disease susceptibility, detailed characterization of African genetic diversity is needed. The African Genome Variation Project provides a resource with which to design, implement and interpret genomic studies in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. The African Genome Variation Project represents dense genotypes from 1,481 individuals and whole-genome sequences from 320 individuals across sub-Saharan Africa. Using this resource, we find novel evidence of complex, regionally distinct hunter-gatherer and Eurasian admixture across sub-Saharan Africa. We identify new loci under selection, including loci related to malaria susceptibility and hypertension. We show that modern imputation panels (sets of reference genotypes from which unobserved or missing genotypes in study sets can be inferred) can identify association signals at highly differentiated loci across populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Using whole-genome sequencing, we demonstrate further improvements in imputation accuracy, strengthening the case for large-scale sequencing efforts of diverse African haplotypes. Finally, we present an efficient genotype array design capturing common genetic variation in Africa. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

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