Poster Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Insights into South American population history, from ancient DNA from Tierra del Fuego. (#301)

Thiseas Christos Lamnidis 1 , Zuzana Faltyskova 2 3 , Luca Pagani 2 , Hannes Schroeder 4 5 , Susana Morano 6 , Federico Abascal 7 , Alfredo Prieto 6 8 , Yolanda Espinosa-Parrilla 9 10 , Carles Laluzela-Fox 9 , Maru Mormina 2 11 , Yali Xue 7 , Chris Tyler-Smith 7 , Toomas Kivisild 2 , Richard Durbin 7 , Stephan Schiffels 1
  1. Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
  2. Division of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  3. Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London, UK
  4. Centre of GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands
  6. Institute of Patagonia, University of Magallanes, Punta Arenas, Chile
  7. Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK
  8. Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  9. Institute of Evolutionary Biology, CSIC-Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
  10. School of Medicine, University of Magallanes, Punta Arenas, Chile
  11. Department of Applied Social Sciences, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK

According to genetic evidence, the ancestors of Native Americans entered the Americas through the Beringian land bridge circa 16,000 years ago(1). However, the exact arrival time and dispersal routes across the double continent and South America in particular remain unclear. Due to their unusual cranial morphology, Fuegians from the south of South America have been suggested to belong to a relic Paleoamerican population(2). Here we address this question using ancient DNA from five human samples from Tierra del Fuego dated between 200 and 4,600 years ago. We generated the full nuclear genomes of these samples, with average depth ranging between 2x and 10x, and analysed them jointly with modern sequences from public data sets. F3 and D statistics revealed no ancestral component in the Fuegians other than typical Native American, consistent with previous genetic studies(3), unlike the Karitiana population from Brazil that shows an Australasian component(4). We used Rarecoal(5) to construct a population model of 1000 Genome populations including post-colonial admixture events and discerned that the Fuegians are more closely related to Colombians than to Peruvians, and more closely related to those than to Mexicans. We estimate that Fuegians diverged from the Colombian branch ~10,500 years ago, shortly after the Colombian/Peruvian divergence (~11,700 years ago). Our results demonstrate that rare variant analyses have the resolution required to make population history inferences between highly similar populations, like those of South America.

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  2. Lahr, MM. 1995. Patterns of modern human diversification: Implications for Amerindian origins. Am J Phys Anthropol 38
  3. Raghavan M, Steinr├╝cken M, Harris K, Schiffels S, Rasmussen S, et al. 2015. POPULATION GENETICS. Genomic evidence for the Pleistocene and recent population history of Native Americans. Science 349
  4. Skoglund P, Mallick S, Bortolini MC, Chennagiri N, H├╝nemeier T, Petzl-Erler ML, Salzano FM, Patterson N, Reich D. 2015. Genetic evidence for two founding populations of the Americas. Nature 525
  5. Schiffels S, Haak W, Paajanen P, Llamas B, Popescu E, et al. 2016. Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon genomes from East England reveal British migration history. Nat Commun 7