About 1-6% of the genetic ancestry of modern humans today originates from admixture with archaic humans. It has recently been shown that autosomal genomic regions with a reduced proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestries (NA and DA) are significantly enriched in genes that are more expressed in testis than in other tissues. To determine whether a cellular segregation pattern would exist, we combined maps of archaic introgression with a cross-analysis of three transcriptomic datasets deciphering the transcriptional landscape of human gonadal cell types. We reveal that the regions deficient in both NA and DA contain a significant enrichment of genes transcribed in meiotic germ cells. The interbreeding of anatomically modern humans with archaic humans may have introduced archaic-derived alleles that contributed to genetic incompatibilities affecting meiosis that were subsequently purged by natural selection.
Keywords: archaic hominin admixture; genetic incompatibilities; germ cells; meiosis; testis.
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