Neandertal DNA Sequences and the Origin of Modern Humans

Cell. 1997 Jul 11;90(1):19-30. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80310-4.

Abstract

DNA was extracted from the Neandertal-type specimen found in 1856 in western Germany. By sequencing clones from short overlapping PCR products, a hitherto unknown mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence was determined. Multiple controls indicate that this sequence is endogenous to the fossil. Sequence comparisons with human mtDNA sequences, as well as phylogenetic analyses, show that the Neandertal sequence falls outside the variation of modern humans. Furthermore, the age of the common ancestor of the Neandertal and modern human mtDNAs is estimated to be four times greater than that of the common ancestor of human mtDNAs. This suggests that Neandertals went extinct without contributing mtDNA to modern humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone and Bones / chemistry*
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / chemistry*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / isolation & purification
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Fossils*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Germany
  • Hominidae / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Humerus / chemistry
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid

Substances

  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Mitochondrial

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF011222