Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Date of Interbreeding between Neandertals and Modern Humans.

Sankararaman, S., Patterson, N., Li, H., Pääbo, S., Reich, D., 2012. PLoS Genet 8, e1002947.

The authors use the extent of linkage disequilibrium (the association between two or more loci – the distance of DNA that hasn’t been broken up by recombination, which is reduced over time) in modern humans to test between two models (i) Neanderthal (or their close kin)-AMH interbreeding (Neanderthal gene flow) versus (ii) ancient sub-structuring in the ancestral population in Africa.  They find evidence for the former and date the last gene flow from Neanderthals to AMH to 37-986kyaBP.  Taking the possibility of both ancient sub-structuring and gene flow into account yields dates of 47-65kya.




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