Reconstructing human origins in the genomic era

Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Sep;7(9):669-80. doi: 10.1038/nrg1941.


Analyses of recently acquired genomic sequence data are leading to important insights into the early evolution of anatomically modern humans, as well as into the more recent demographic processes that accompanied the global radiation of Homo sapiens. Some of the new results contradict early, but still influential, conclusions that were based on analyses of gene trees from mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome sequences. In this review, we discuss the different genetic and statistical methods that are available for studying human population history, and identify the most plausible models of human evolution that can accommodate the contrasting patterns observed at different loci throughout the genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Y / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • DNA, Mitochondrial