Two contemporaneous mitogenomes from terminal Pleistocene burials in eastern Beringia.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Tackney, Justin C; Potter, Ben A; Raff, Jennifer; Powers, Michael; Watkins, W Scott; Warner, Derek; Reuther, Joshua D; Irish, Joel D; O'Rourke, Dennis H
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume: 112
Issue: 45
Pagination: 13833-8
Date Published: 2015 Nov 10
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: Alaska, Archaeology, Base Sequence, Bayes Theorem, Burial, DNA, Mitochondrial, Evolution, Molecular, Genetic Variation, Geography, Haplotypes, High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing, History, Ancient, Human Migration, Humans, Infant, Likelihood Functions, Models, Genetic, Models, Theoretical, Molecular Sequence Data, Oligonucleotides, Phylogeny

Pleistocene residential sites with multiple contemporaneous human burials are extremely rare in the Americas. We report mitochondrial genomic variation in the first multiple mitochondrial genomes from a single prehistoric population: two infant burials (USR1 and USR2) from a common interment at the Upward Sun River Site in central Alaska dating to ∼11,500 cal B.P. Using a targeted capture method and next-generation sequencing, we determined that the USR1 infant possessed variants that define mitochondrial lineage C1b, whereas the USR2 genome falls at the root of lineage B2, allowing us to refine younger coalescence age estimates for these two clades. C1b and B2 are rare to absent in modern populations of northern North America. Documentation of these lineages at this location in the Late Pleistocene provides evidence for the extent of mitochondrial diversity in early Beringian populations, which supports the expectations of the Beringian Standstill Model.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511903112
Alternate Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.