Outstanding questions in the study of archaic hominin admixture

PLoS Genet. 2018 May 31;14(5):e1007349. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007349. eCollection 2018 May.


The complete sequencing of archaic and modern human genomes has revolutionized the study of human history and evolution. The application of paleogenomics has answered questions that were beyond the scope of archaeology alone-definitively proving admixture between archaic and modern humans. Despite the remarkable progress made in the study of archaic-modern human admixture, many outstanding questions remain. Here, we review some of these questions, which include how frequent archaic-modern human admixture was in history, to what degree drift and selection are responsible for the loss and retention of introgressed sequences in modern human genomes, and how surviving archaic sequences affect human phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological / genetics
  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Flow
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genome, Human / genetics*
  • Hominidae / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*