May 5, 2015

A Chronological Atlas of Natural Selection in the Human Genome during the Past Half-million Years

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Hang ZhouKun Tang

Abstract

The spatiotemporal distribution of recent human adaptation is a long standing question. We developed a new coalescent-based method that collectively assigned human genome regions to modes of neutrality or to positive, negative, or balancing selection. Most importantly, the selection times were estimated for all positive selection signals, which ranged over the last half million years, penetrating the emergence of anatomically modern human (AMH). These selection time estimates were further supported by analyses of the genome sequences from three ancient AMHs and the Neanderthals. A series of brain function-related genes were found to carry signals of ancient selective sweeps, which may have defined the evolution of cognitive abilities either before Neanderthal divergence or during the emergence of AMH. Particularly, signals of brain evolution in AMH are strongly related to Alzheimer's disease pathways. In conclusion, this study reports a chronological atlas of natural selection in Human.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Biochemical Pathway
Genome
Genes
Brain
Ability to Perform Cognitive Activity
Alzheimer's Disease
Equilibrium
Adaptation
Brain Function

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