Jun 9, 2009

Correcting for purifying selection: an improved human mitochondrial molecular clock

American Journal of Human Genetics
Pedro SoaresMartin Richards

Abstract

There is currently no calibration available for the whole human mtDNA genome, incorporating both coding and control regions. Furthermore, as several authors have pointed out recently, linear molecular clocks that incorporate selectable characters are in any case problematic. We here confirm a modest effect of purifying selection on the mtDNA coding region and propose an improved molecular clock for dating human mtDNA, based on a worldwide phylogeny of > 2000 complete mtDNA genomes and calibrating against recent evidence for the divergence time of humans and chimpanzees. We focus on a time-dependent mutation rate based on the entire mtDNA genome and supported by a neutral clock based on synonymous mutations alone. We show that the corrected rate is further corroborated by archaeological dating for the settlement of the Canary Islands and Remote Oceania and also, given certain phylogeographic assumptions, by the timing of the first modern human settlement of Europe and resettlement after the Last Glacial Maximum. The corrected rate yields an age of modern human expansion in the Americas at approximately 15 kya that-unlike the uncorrected clock-matches the archaeological evidence, but continues to indicate an out-of-Africa dispers...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

RCHY1 gene
Equine Laminitis
MT-ATP8 gene
Genome
Tract
DNA, Mitochondrial
Ncbi Taxonomy
Canary antigen
DNA, Ribosomal
Gene Deletion Abnormality

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