Out of Africa? What do genes tell us?

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1997 Dec;7(6):841-7. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(97)80049-4.


Genetic diversity patterns in nuclear versus mitochondrial systems and in low versus high mutation rate systems do not support the hypothesis of a recent African origin for all of humanity following a split between Africans and non-Africans 100,000 years ago, nor do genetic distance data. Geographical analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial gene trees do not support the hypothesis of a recent global replacement of humans coming out of Africa, although a local replacement event in Europe is indicated by these analyses and recent studies on Neandertal DNA. The gene tree analyses instead indicate that genetic interchanges have ensured that all of humanity has evolved as a single evolutionary lineage with no major splits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haplotypes
  • Hominidae / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic