Ancient gene flow from early modern humans into Eastern Neanderthals

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Kuhlwilm, Martin; Gronau, Ilan; Hubisz, Melissa J.; de Filippo, Cesare; Prado-Martinez, Javier; Kircher, Martin; Fu, Qiaomei; Burbano, Hernán A.; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Rudan, Pavao; Brajkovic, Dejana; Kucan, Zeljko; Gusic, Ivan; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Andrés, Aida M.; Viola, Bence; Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Siepel, Adam; Castellano, Sergi
Year of Publication: 2016
Journal: Nature
Volume: 530
Issue: 7591
Pagination: 429 - 433
Date Published: 2016/02/25/print
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 0028-0836

It has been shown that Neanderthals contributed genetically to modern humans outside Africa 47,000–65,000 years ago. Here we analyse the genomes of a Neanderthal and a Denisovan from the Altai Mountains in Siberia together with the sequences of chromosome 21 of two Neanderthals from Spain and Croatia. We find that a population that diverged early from other modern humans in Africa contributed genetically to the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains roughly 100,000 years ago. By contrast, we do not detect such a genetic contribution in the Denisovan or the two European Neanderthals. We conclude that in addition to later interbreeding events, the ancestors of Neanderthals from the Altai Mountains and early modern humans met and interbred, possibly in the Near East, many thousands of years earlier than previously thought.