This paper analyzes the age pattern of effective fecundability from populations with no evidence of deliberate fertility control using a new convolution model of fecundability. The analysis is based on a sample of Hutterite birth histories from the mid-20th century, and birth histories of French Canadians from the 17th and 18th centuries. The main findings are as follows: 1) the level of effective fecundability is higher among the French Canadians compared to the Hutterites; 2) effective fecundability peaks at age 20 for the Hutterites, and in the early to mid-20s for the French Canadians; 3) Hutterite effective fecundability declines almost linearly from age 20 to 45, and French Canadian effective fecundability declines slowly from its peak to the early 30s, and more rapidly at older ages; and 4) the duration of postpartum amenorrhea is longer for the French Canadians than for the Hutterites. Because of the shorter periods of postpartum amenorrhea the Hutterites have about the same average number of children as the French Canadians, even though the French Canadians have higher effective fecundability.
Alu insertions provide useful markers for the study of inter-population affinities and historical processes, but data on these systems are not numerous in Native Americans and related populations.
The study aimed to answer the following questions: (a) do the population relationships found agree with ethnic, historical and geographical data? and (b) what can heterozygote levels and associated results inform us about the events that led to the colonization of the New World?
Twelve Alu insertion polymorphisms were studied in 330 individuals belonging to South American Native, Siberian and Mongolian populations. These data were integrated with those from 526 persons, to ascertain the relationships between Asian, Northern Arctic and Amerindian populations.
A decreasing trend concerning heterozygosities and amount of gene flow was observed in the three sets, in the order indicated above. Most results indicated the validity of these subdivisions. However, no clear structure could be observed within South American Natives, indicating the importance of dispersive (genetic drift, founder effects) factors in their differentiation.
The answers to the questions are: (a) yes; and (b) an initial moderate bottleneck, intensified by more recent historical events (isolation and inbreeding), can explain the current Amerindian pattern of diversity.
Native Americans have been divided into three linguistic groups: the reasonably well-defined Eskaleut and Nadene of northern North America and the highly heterogeneous Amerind of North, Central, and South America. The heterogeneity of the Amerinds has been proposed to be the result of either multiple independent migrations or a single ancient migration with extensive in situ radiation. To investigate the origin and interrelationship of the American Indians, we examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in 87 Amerinds (Pima, Maya, and Ticuna of North, Central, and South America, respectively), 80 Nadene (Dogrib and Tlingit of northwest North America and Navajo of the southwest North America), and 153 Asians from 7 diverse populations. American Indian mtDNAs were found to be directly descended from five founding Asian mtDNAs and to cluster into four lineages, each characterized by a different rare Asian mtDNA marker. Lineage A is defined by a HaeIII site gain at np 663, lineage B by a 9-bp deletion between the COII and tRNA(Lys) genes, lineage C by a HincII site loss at np 13259, and lineage D by an AluI site loss at np 5176. The North, Central, and South America Amerinds were found to harbor all four lineages, demonstrating that the Amerinds originated from a common ancestral genetic stock. The genetic variation of three of the four Amerind lineages (A, C, and D) was similar with a mean value of 0.084%, whereas the sequence variation in the fourth lineage (B) was much lower, raising the possibility of an independent arrival. By contrast, the Nadene mtDNAs were predominantly from lineage A, with 27% of them having a Nadene-specific RsaI site loss at np 16329. The accumulated Nadene variation was only 0.021%. These results demonstrate that the Amerind mtDNAs arose from one or maybe two Asian migrations that were distinct from the migration of the Nadene and that the Amerind populations are about four times older than the Nadene.
The driving force behind the transition from a foraging to a farming lifestyle in prehistoric Europe (Neolithization) has been debated for more than a century [1-3]. Of particular interest is whether population replacement or cultural exchange was responsible [3-5]. Scandinavia holds a unique place in this debate, for it maintained one of the last major hunter-gatherer complexes in Neolithic Europe, the Pitted Ware culture . Intriguingly, these late hunter-gatherers existed in parallel to early farmers for more than a millennium before they vanished some 4,000 years ago [7, 8]. The prolonged coexistence of the two cultures in Scandinavia has been cited as an argument against population replacement between the Mesolithic and the present [7, 8]. Through analysis of DNA extracted from ancient Scandinavian human remains, we show that people of the Pitted Ware culture were not the direct ancestors of modern Scandinavians (including the Saami people of northern Scandinavia) but are more closely related to contemporary populations of the eastern Baltic region. Our findings support hypotheses arising from archaeological analyses that propose a Neolithic or post-Neolithic population replacement in Scandinavia . Furthermore, our data are consistent with the view that the eastern Baltic represents a genetic refugia for some of the European hunter-gatherer populations.
Comment In: Curr Biol. 2009 Nov 3;19(20):R948-919889371
We report here the genome sequence of an ancient human. Obtained from approximately 4,000-year-old permafrost-preserved hair, the genome represents a male individual from the first known culture to settle in Greenland. Sequenced to an average depth of 20x, we recover 79% of the diploid genome, an amount close to the practical limit of current sequencing technologies. We identify 353,151 high-confidence single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which 6.8% have not been reported previously. We estimate raw read contamination to be no higher than 0.8%. We use functional SNP assessment to assign possible phenotypic characteristics of the individual that belonged to a culture whose location has yielded only trace human remains. We compare the high-confidence SNPs to those of contemporary populations to find the populations most closely related to the individual. This provides evidence for a migration from Siberia into the New World some 5,500 years ago, independent of that giving rise to the modern Native Americans and Inuit.
The Ushki Paleolithic sites of Kamchatka, Russia, have long been thought to contain information critical to the peopling of the Americas, especially the origins of Clovis. New radiocarbon dates indicate that human occupation of Ushki began only 13,000 calendar years ago-nearly 4000 years later than previously thought. Although biface industries were widespread across Beringia contemporaneous to the time of Clovis in western North America, these data suggest that late-glacial Siberians did not spread into Beringia until the end of the Pleistocene, perhaps too recently to have been ancestral to proposed pre-Clovis populations in the Americas.
The history of human populations occupying the plains and mountain ridges separating Europe from Asia has been eventful, as these natural obstacles were crossed westward by multiple waves of Turkic and Uralic-speaking migrants as well as eastward by Europeans. Unfortunately, the material records of history of this region are not dense enough to reconstruct details of population history. These considerations stimulate growing interest to obtain a genetic picture of the demographic history of migrations and admixture in Northern Eurasia.
We genotyped and analyzed 1076 individuals from 30 populations with geographical coverage spanning from Baltic Sea to Baikal Lake. Our dense sampling allowed us to describe in detail the population structure, provide insight into genomic history of numerous European and Asian populations, and significantly increase quantity of genetic data available for modern populations in region of North Eurasia. Our study doubles the amount of genome-wide profiles available for this region. We detected unusually high amount of shared identical-by-descent (IBD) genomic segments between several Siberian populations, such as Khanty and Ket, providing evidence of genetic relatedness across vast geographic distances and between speakers of different language families. Additionally, we observed excessive IBD sharing between Khanty and Bashkir, a group of Turkic speakers from Southern Urals region. While adding some weight to the "Finno-Ugric" origin of Bashkir, our studies highlighted that the Bashkir genepool lacks the main "core", being a multi-layered amalgamation of Turkic, Ugric, Finnish and Indo-European contributions, which points at intricacy of genetic interface between Turkic and Uralic populations. Comparison of the genetic structure of Siberian ethnicities and the geography of the region they inhabit point at existence of the "Great Siberian Vortex" directing genetic exchanges in populations across the Siberian part of Asia. Slavic speakers of Eastern Europe are, in general, very similar in their genetic composition. Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians have almost identical proportions of Caucasus and Northern European components and have virtually no Asian influence. We capitalized on wide geographic span of our sampling to address intriguing question about the place of origin of Russian Starovers, an enigmatic Eastern Orthodox Old Believers religious group relocated to Siberia in seventeenth century. A comparative reAdmix analysis, complemented by IBD sharing, placed their roots in the region of the Northern European Plain, occupied by North Russians and Finno-Ugric Komi and Karelian people. Russians from Novosibirsk and Russian Starover exhibit ancestral proportions close to that of European Eastern Slavs, however, they also include between five to 10 % of Central Siberian ancestry, not present at this level in their European counterparts.
Our project has patched the hole in the genetic map of Eurasia: we demonstrated complexity of genetic structure of Northern Eurasians, existence of East-West and North-South genetic gradients, and assessed different inputs of ancient populations into modern populations.
The Nganasans are made up of two recently tribal populations. These, the Avam and Vadey, were established in the seventeenth century from small reindeer hunting bands, themselves apparently descended from the Yukaghir. Data on 13 blood systems have been described for the first time in the Vadey Nganasans, and the results compared with those previously reported for the two Avam subgroups. As a whole, the Nganasans are characterized by low frequency of B blood group, high frequencies of Ns, cDE, Fy(a), Hp(2), absence of A2, P(c), K, and apparently an absence of cde alleles or haplotypes. Measurement of intrapopulation heterogeneity reveals significant divergence among the two Avam subdivisions (chi 2/16=57.59; P less than 0.001), as well as between the total Avam and Vadey (chi 2/17=79.31; P less than 0.001). Founder principle, and local genetic drift, are believed to account for the greater difference between the Avam and Vadey subgroups than that observed between the two Avam populations. The Nganasans of the Taimir Peninsula appear to be the last group of reindeer hunters remaining in Northern Siberia. For ages they have lived in relative isolation, and therefore are the least touched genetically, either by surrounding herding groups originating in Southern Siberia, or by recent Caucasian admixture.