Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Earliest modern human sequenced

22.10.2014

Researchers discover fragments of Neandertal DNA in the genome of a 45,000-year-old modern human from Siberia

A research team led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has sequenced the genome of a 45,000-year-old modern human male from western Siberia.


Map of Pleistocene fossils with published nuclear DNA (orange: Neandertals, blue: Denisovans, green: modern humans).

© MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology/ Bence Viola


View of the Irtysh and Ust’-Ishim village in September 2014.

© Vyacheslav Andreev

The comparison of his genome to the genomes of people that lived later in Europe and Asia show that he lived close in time to when the ancestors of present-day people in Europe and eastern Asia went different ways. Like all present-day people outside Africa the Ust’-Ishim man carried segments of Neandertal DNA in his genome.

But these segments were much longer than the ones found in present-day humans and indicate that the admixture with Neandertals took place between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.

In 2008, a relatively complete human femur was discovered on the banks of the river Irtysh near the village of Ust’-Ishim in western Siberia. Radiocarbon dating of the bone showed it to be about 45,000 years old.

“The morphology of the bone suggests that it is an early modern human; that is an individual related to populations that are the direct ancestors of people alive today” says Bence Viola, an anthropologist who analyzed it. “This individual is one of the oldest modern humans found outside the Middle East and Africa” he says.

The research team sequenced this individual’s genome to a very high quality and compared it to the genomes of present-day humans from more than 50 populations. They found that the Ust’-Ishim bone comes from a male individual who is more related to present-day people outside Africa than to Africans thus showing that he is an early representative of the modern population that left Africa.

When his genome was compared to people outside Africa, he was found to be approximately equally related to people in East Asia and people that lived in Europe during the Stone Age. “The population to which the Ust’-Ishim individual belonged may have split from the ancestors of present-day West Eurasian and East Eurasian populations before, or at about the same time, when these two first split from each other”, says Svante Pääbo. 

“It is very satisfying that we now have a good genome not only from Neandertals and Denisovans, but also from a very early modern human” he says. Paleoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin, who was involved in the study, says that “it is possible that the Ust’-Ishim individual belonged to a population of early migrants into Europe and Central Asia, who failed to leave descendants among present-day populations”.

Since the Ust’-Ishim man lived at a time when Neandertals were still present in Eurasia, the researchers were interested in seeing whether his ancestors had already mixed with Neandertals. They found that about two per cent of his DNA came from Neandertals – similar to the proportion found in present-day East Asians and Europeans.

However, the lengths of Neandertal DNA segments in his genome are much longer than the ones found in present-day humans because he lived closer in time to the admixture event so that the Neandertal segments had not had time to become as reduced in size over the generations.

“This allowed us to estimate that the ancestors of the Ust’-Ishim individual mixed with Neandertals approximately 7,000-13,000 years before this individual lived or about 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, which is close to the time of the major expansion of modern humans out of Africa and the Middle East”, says Janet Kelso, who led the computer-based analyses of the genome.

The high quality of this 45,000-year-old genome also enabled the team to estimate the rate with which mutations accumulate in the human genome. They found that between one and two mutations per year have accumulated in the genomes of populations in Europe and Asia since the Ust’-Ishim man lived.

This is similar to recent estimates from counting genetic differences between parents and children, but lower than more traditional, indirect estimates based on fossil divergences between species.

Contact 

 

Prof. Dr. Svante Pääbo

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Phone:+49 341 3550-500Fax:+49 341 3550-555
 

Sandra Jacob

Press and Public Relations
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Phone:+49 341 3550-122Fax:+49 341 3550-119

Original publication

 
Qiaomei Fu, Heng Li, Priya Moorjani, Flora Jay, Sergey M. Slepchenko, Aleksei A. Bondarev, Philip L.F. Johnson, Ayinuer A. Petri, Kay Prüfer, Cesare de Filippo, Matthias Meyer, Nicolas Zwyns, Domingo C. Salazar-Garcia, Yaroslav V. Kuzmin, Susan G. Keates, Pavel A. Kosintsev, Dmitry I. Razhev, Michael P. Richards, Nikolai V. Peristov, Michael Lachmann, Katerina Douka, Thomas F.G. Higham, Montgomery Slatkin, Jean-Jacques Hublin, David Reich, Janet Kelso, T. Bence Viola, Svante Pääbo
The genome sequence of a 45,000-year-old modern human from western Siberia

Janet Kelso | Max-Planck-Institute
Further information:
http://www.mpg.de/8710423/genome-earliest-modern-human

Further reports about: Evolutionary Max Planck Institute Neandertals ancestors humans populations segments

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>