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, 90 (5), 915-24

Mitochondrial DNA Signals of Late Glacial Recolonization of Europe From Near Eastern Refugia


Mitochondrial DNA Signals of Late Glacial Recolonization of Europe From Near Eastern Refugia

Maria Pala et al. Am J Hum Genet.


Human populations, along with those of many other species, are thought to have contracted into a number of refuge areas at the height of the last Ice Age. European populations are believed to be, to a large extent, the descendants of the inhabitants of these refugia, and some extant mtDNA lineages can be traced to refugia in Franco-Cantabria (haplogroups H1, H3, V, and U5b1), the Italian Peninsula (U5b3), and the East European Plain (U4 and U5a). Parts of the Near East, such as the Levant, were also continuously inhabited throughout the Last Glacial Maximum, but unlike western and eastern Europe, no archaeological or genetic evidence for Late Glacial expansions into Europe from the Near East has hitherto been discovered. Here we report, on the basis of an enlarged whole-genome mitochondrial database, that a substantial, perhaps predominant, signal from mitochondrial haplogroups J and T, previously thought to have spread primarily from the Near East into Europe with the Neolithic population, may in fact reflect dispersals during the Late Glacial period, ∼19-12 thousand years (ka) ago.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic Representation of J and T Phylogenies The trees are based on the maximum-parsimony phylogenetic tree of 902 complete mtDNA sequences shown in detail in Figures S1 and S2. Clades and subclades have been colored according to their inferred geographic origin.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Spatial Frequency Distribution Maps of Haplogroups J and T and Geographical Locations of Populations Surveyed Coalescence ages are reported according to ML estimates. Populations and corresponding percentage frequency values are listed in Table S3.

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