An early modern human from Romania with a recent Neanderthal ancestor.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Fu, Qiaomei; Hajdinjak, Mateja; Moldovan, Oana Teodora; Constantin, Silviu; Mallick, Swapan; Skoglund, Pontus; Patterson, Nick; Rohland, Nadin; Lazaridis, Iosif; Nickel, Birgit; Viola, Bence; Prüfer, Kay; Meyer, Matthias; Kelso, Janet; Reich, David; Pääbo, Svante
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Nature
Volume: 524
Issue: 7564
Pagination: 216-9
Date Published: 2015 Aug 13
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1476-4687
Keywords: Alleles, Animals, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, European Continental Ancestry Group, Far East, Fossils, Genome, Human, Humans, Hybridization, Genetic, Indians, North American, Male, Neanderthals, Phylogeny, Romania, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Time Factors

Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared in Europe approximately 39,000-41,000 years ago but they have contributed 1-3% of the DNA of present-day people in Eurasia. Here we analyse DNA from a 37,000-42,000-year-old modern human from Peştera cu Oase, Romania. Although the specimen contains small amounts of human DNA, we use an enrichment strategy to isolate sites that are informative about its relationship to Neanderthals and present-day humans. We find that on the order of 6-9% of the genome of the Oase individual is derived from Neanderthals, more than any other modern human sequenced to date. Three chromosomal segments of Neanderthal ancestry are over 50 centimorgans in size, indicating that this individual had a Neanderthal ancestor as recently as four to six generations back. However, the Oase individual does not share more alleles with later Europeans than with East Asians, suggesting that the Oase population did not contribute substantially to later humans in Europe.

DOI: 10.1038/nature14558
Alternate Journal: Nature