Deep Roots for Aboriginal Australian Y Chromosomes.
ABSTRACT: Australia was one of the earliest regions outside Africa to be colonized by fully modern humans, with archaeological evidence for human presence by 47,000 years ago (47 kya) widely accepted [1, 2]. However, the extent of subsequent human entry before the European colonial age is less clear. The dingo reached Australia about 4 kya, indirectly implying human contact, which some have linked to changes in language and stone tool technology to suggest substantial cultural changes at the same time . Genetic data of two kinds have been proposed to support gene flow from the Indian subcontinent to Australia at this time, as well: first, signs of South Asian admixture in Aboriginal Australian genomes have been reported on the basis of genome-wide SNP data ; and second, a Y chromosome lineage designated haplogroup C(?), present in both India and Australia, was estimated to have a most recent common ancestor around 5 kya and to have entered Australia from India . Here, we sequence 13 Aboriginal Australian Y chromosomes to re-investigate their divergence times from Y chromosomes in other continents, including a comparison of Aboriginal Australian and South Asian haplogroup C chromosomes. We find divergence times dating back to ?50 kya, thus excluding the Y chromosome as providing evidence for recent gene flow from India into Australia.
Project description:The Australian continent holds some of the earliest archaeological evidence for the expansion of modern humans out of Africa, with initial occupation at least 40,000 y ago. It is commonly assumed that Australia remained largely isolated following initial colonization, but the genetic history of Australians has not been explored in detail to address this issue. Here, we analyze large-scale genotyping data from aboriginal Australians, New Guineans, island Southeast Asians and Indians. We find an ancient association between Australia, New Guinea, and the Mamanwa (a Negrito group from the Philippines), with divergence times for these groups estimated at 36,000 y ago, and supporting the view that these populations represent the descendants of an early "southern route" migration out of Africa, whereas other populations in the region arrived later by a separate dispersal. We also detect a signal indicative of substantial gene flow between the Indian populations and Australia well before European contact, contrary to the prevailing view that there was no contact between Australia and the rest of the world. We estimate this gene flow to have occurred during the Holocene, 4,230 y ago. This is also approximately when changes in tool technology, food processing, and the dingo appear in the Australian archaeological record, suggesting that these may be related to the migration from India.
Project description:Aboriginal Australians represent one of the oldest continuous cultures outside Africa, with evidence indicating that their ancestors arrived in the ancient landmass of Sahul (present-day New Guinea and Australia) ~55 thousand years ago. Genetic studies, though limited, have demonstrated both the uniqueness and antiquity of Aboriginal Australian genomes. We have further resolved known Aboriginal Australian mitochondrial haplogroups and discovered novel indigenous lineages by sequencing the mitogenomes of 127 contemporary Aboriginal Australians. In particular, the more common haplogroups observed in our dataset included M42a, M42c, S, P5 and P12, followed by rarer haplogroups M15, M16, N13, O, P3, P6 and P8. We propose some major phylogenetic rearrangements, such as in haplogroup P where we delinked P4a and P4b and redefined them as P4 (New Guinean) and P11 (Australian), respectively. Haplogroup P2b was identified as a novel clade potentially restricted to Torres Strait Islanders. Nearly all Aboriginal Australian mitochondrial haplogroups detected appear to be ancient, with no evidence of later introgression during the Holocene. Our findings greatly increase knowledge about the geographic distribution and phylogenetic structure of mitochondrial lineages that have survived in contemporary descendants of Australia's first settlers.
Project description:We present an Aboriginal Australian genomic sequence obtained from a 100-year-old lock of hair donated by an Aboriginal man from southern Western Australia in the early 20th century. We detect no evidence of European admixture and estimate contamination levels to be below 0.5%. We show that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of an early human dispersal into eastern Asia, possibly 62,000 to 75,000 years ago. This dispersal is separate from the one that gave rise to modern Asians 25,000 to 38,000 years ago. We also find evidence of gene flow between populations of the two dispersal waves prior to the divergence of Native Americans from modern Asian ancestors. Our findings support the hypothesis that present-day Aboriginal Australians descend from the earliest humans to occupy Australia, likely representing one of the oldest continuous populations outside Africa.
Project description:The historical literature suggests that in Australia, the domestic cat (Felis catus) had a European origin [~200 years before present (ybp)], but it is unclear if cats arrived from across the Asian land bridge contemporaneously with the dingo (4000 ybp), or perhaps immigrated ~40000 ybp in association with Aboriginal settlement from Asia. The origin of cats in Australia is important because the continent has a complex and ancient faunal assemblage that is dominated by endemic rodents and marsupials and lacks the large placental carnivores found on other large continents. Cats are now ubiquitous across the entire Australian continent and have been implicit in the range contraction or extinction of its small to medium sized (<3.5kg) mammals. We analyzed the population structure of 830 cats using 15 short tandem repeat (STR) genomic markers. Their origin appears to come exclusively from European founders. Feral cats in continental Australia exhibit high genetic diversity in comparison with the low diversity found in populations of feral cats living on islands. The genetic structure is consistent with a rapid westerly expansion from eastern Australia and a limited expansion in coastal Western Australia. Australian cats show modest if any population structure and a close genetic alignment with European feral cats as compared to cats from Asia, the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Indian Ocean), and European wildcats (F. silvestris silvestris).
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Asian origin of Native Americans is largely accepted. However uncertainties persist regarding the source population(s) within Asia, the divergence and arrival time(s) of the founder groups, the number of expansion events, and migration routes into the New World. mtDNA data, presented over the past two decades, have been used to suggest a single-migration model for which the Beringian land mass plays an important role. RESULTS:In our analysis of 568 mitochondrial genomes, the coalescent age estimates of shared roots between Native American and Siberian-Asian lineages, calculated using two different mutation rates, are A4 (27.5 ± 6.8 kya/22.7 ± 7.4 kya), C1 (21.4 ± 2.7 kya/16.4 ± 1.5 kya), C4 (21.0 ± 4.6 kya/20.0 ± 6.4 kya), and D4e1 (24.1 ± 9.0 kya/17.9 ± 10.0 kya). The coalescent age estimates of pan-American haplogroups calculated using the same two mutation rates (A2:19.5 ± 1.3 kya/16.1 ± 1.5 kya, B2:20.8 ± 2.0 kya/18.1 ± 2.4 kya, C1:21.4 ± 2.7 kya/16.4 ± 1.5 kya and D1:17.2 ± 2.0 kya/14.9 ± 2.2 kya) and estimates of population expansions within America (~21-16 kya), support the pre-Clovis occupation of the New World. The phylogeography of sublineages within American haplogroups A2, B2, D1 and the C1b, C1c and C1d subhaplogroups of C1 are complex and largely specific to geographical North, Central and South America. However some sub-branches (B2b, C1b, C1c, C1d and D1f) already existed in American founder haplogroups before expansion into the America. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that Native American founders diverged from their Siberian-Asian progenitors sometime during the last glacial maximum (LGM) and expanded into America soon after the LGM peak (~20-16 kya). The phylogeography of haplogroup C1 suggest that this American founder haplogroup differentiated in Siberia-Asia. The situation is less clear for haplogroup B2, however haplogroups A2 and D1 may have differentiated soon after the Native American founders divergence. A moderate population bottle neck in American founder populations just before the expansion most plausibly resulted in few founder types in America. The similar estimates of the diversity indices and Bayesian skyline analysis in North America, Central America and South America suggest almost simultaneous (~ 2.0 ky from South to North America) colonization of these geographical regions with rapid population expansion differentiating into more or less regional branches across the pan-American haplogroups.
Project description:We examined genetic affinities of Aboriginal Australian and New Guinean populations by using nucleotide variation in the two hypervariable segments of the mtDNA control region (CR). A total of 318 individuals from highland Papua New Guinea (PNG), coastal PNG, and Aboriginal Australian populations were typed with a panel of 29 sequence-specific oligonucleotide (SSO) probes. The SSO-probe panel included five new probes that were used to type an additional 1,037 individuals from several Asian populations. The SSO-type data guided the selection of 78 individuals from Australia and east Indonesia for CR sequencing. A gene tree of these CR sequences, combined with published sequences from worldwide populations, contains two previously identified highland PNG clusters that do not include any Aboriginal Australians; the highland PNG clusters have coalescent time estimates of approximately 80,000 and 122,000 years ago, suggesting ancient isolation and genetic drift. SSO-type data indicate that 84% of the sample of PNG highlander mtDNA belong to these two clusters. In contrast, the Aboriginal Australian sequences are intermingled throughout the tree and cluster with sequences from multiple populations. Phylogenetic and multidimensional-scaling analyses of CR sequences and SSO types split PNG highland and Aboriginal Australian populations and link Aboriginal Australian populations with populations from the subcontinent of India. These mtDNA results do not support a close relationship between Aboriginal Australian and PNG populations but instead suggest multiple migrations in the peopling of Sahul.
Project description:Background:The Australian dingo continues to cause debate amongst Aboriginal people, pastoralists, scientists and the government in Australia. A lingering controversy is whether the dingo has been tamed and has now reverted to its ancestral wild state or whether its ancestors were domesticated and it now resides on the continent as a feral dog. The goal of this article is to place the discussion onto a theoretical framework, highlight what is currently known about dingo origins and taxonomy and then make a series of experimentally testable organismal, cellular and biochemical predictions that we propose can focus future research. Discussion:We consider a canid that has been unconsciously selected as a tamed animal and the endpoint of methodical or what we now call artificial selection as a domesticated animal. We consider wild animals that were formerly tamed as untamed and those wild animals that were formerly domesticated as feralized. Untamed canids are predicted to be marked by a signature of unconscious selection whereas feral animals are hypothesized to be marked by signatures of both unconscious and artificial selection. First, we review the movement of dingo ancestors into Australia. We then discuss how differences between taming and domestication may influence the organismal traits of skull morphometrics, brain and size, seasonal breeding, and sociability. Finally, we consider cellular and molecular level traits including hypotheses concerning the phylogenetic position of dingoes, metabolic genes that appear to be under positive selection and the potential for micronutrient compensation by the gut microbiome. Conclusions:Western Australian Government policy is currently being revised to allow the widespread killing of the Australian dingo. These policies are based on an incomplete understanding of the evolutionary history of the canid and assume the dingo is feralized. However, accumulated evidence does not definitively show that the dingo was ever domesticated and additional focused research is required. We suggest that incorporating ancient DNA data into the debate concerning dingo origins will be pivotal to understanding the evolutionary history of the canid. Further, we advocate that future morphological, behavioural and genetic studies should focus on including genetically pure Alpine and Desert dingoes and not dingo-dog hybrids. Finally, we propose that future studies critically examine genes under selection in the dingo and employ the genome from a wild canid for comparison.
Project description:The colonization of Eurasia and Australasia by African modern humans has been explained, nearly unanimously, as the result of a quick southern coastal dispersal route through the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent, and the Indochinese Peninsula, to reach Australia around 50 kya. The phylogeny and phylogeography of the major mitochondrial DNA Eurasian haplogroups M and N have played the main role in giving molecular genetics support to that scenario. However, using the same molecular tools, a northern route across central Asia has been invoked as an alternative that is more conciliatory with the fossil record of East Asia. Here, we assess as the Eurasian macrohaplogroup R fits in the northern path.Haplogroup U, with a founder age around 50 kya, is one of the oldest clades of macrohaplogroup R in western Asia. The main branches of U expanded in successive waves across West, Central and South Asia before the Last Glacial Maximum. All these dispersions had rather overlapping ranges. Some of them, as those of U6 and U3, reached North Africa. At the other end of Asia, in Wallacea, another branch of macrohaplogroup R, haplogroup P, also independently expanded in the area around 52 kya, in this case as isolated bursts geographically well structured, with autochthonous branches in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines.Coeval independently dispersals around 50 kya of the West Asia haplogroup U and the Wallacea haplogroup P, points to a halfway core area in southeast Asia as the most probable centre of expansion of macrohaplogroup R, what fits in the phylogeographic pattern of its ancestor, macrohaplogroup N, for which a northern route and a southeast Asian origin has been already proposed.
Project description:The newly sequenced mitochondrial genomes of 107 Asian swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis carabensis) allowed the reconstruction of the matrilineal divergence since ~900 Kya. Phylogenetic trees and Bayesian skyline plots suggest a role of the glacial periods in the demographic history of swamp buffalo. The ancestral swamp-buffalo mitogenome is dated ~232 ± 35 Kya. Two major macro-lineages diverged during the 2nd Pleistocene Glacial Period (~200-130 Kya), but most (~99%) of the current matrilines derive from only two ancestors (SA1'2 and SB) that lived around the Last Glacial Maximum (~26-19 Kya). During the late Holocene optimum (11-6 Kya) lineages differentiated further, and at least eight matrilines (SA1, SA2, SB1a, SB1b, SB2a, SB2b, SB3 and SB4) were domesticated around 7-3 Kya. Haplotype distributions support an initial domestication process in Southeast Asia, while subsequent captures of wild females probably introduced some additional rare lineages (SA3, SC, SD and SE). Dispersal of domestic buffaloes created local population bottlenecks and founder events that further differentiated haplogroup distributions. A lack of maternal gene flow between neighboring populations apparently maintained the strong phylogeography of the swamp buffalo matrilines, which is the more remarkable because of an almost complete absence of phenotypic differentiation.
Project description:This cranio-morphometric study emphasizes a "two-layer model" for eastern Eurasian anatomically modern human (AMH) populations, based on large datasets of 89 population samples including findings directly from ancient archaeological contexts. Results suggest that an initial "first layer" of AMH had related closely to ancestral Andaman, Australian, Papuan, and Jomon groups who likely entered this region via the Southeast Asian landmass, prior to 65-50?kya. A later "second layer" shared strong cranial affinities with Siberians, implying a Northeast Asian source, evidenced by 9?kya in central China and then followed by expansions of descendant groups into Southeast Asia after 4?kya. These two populations shared limited initial exchange, and the second layer grew at a faster rate and in greater numbers, linked with contexts of farming that may have supported increased population densities. Clear dichotomization between the two layers implies a temporally deep divergence of distinct migration routes for AMH through both southern and northern Eurasia.