Dec 24, 2010

Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia

Nature
David ReichSvante Pääbo

Abstract

Using DNA extracted from a finger bone found in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia, we have sequenced the genome of an archaic hominin to about 1.9-fold coverage. This individual is from a group that shares a common origin with Neanderthals. This population was not involved in the putative gene flow from Neanderthals into Eurasians; however, the data suggest that it contributed 4-6% of its genetic material to the genomes of present-day Melanesians. We designate this hominin population 'Denisovans' and suggest that it may have been widespread in Asia during the Late Pleistocene epoch. A tooth found in Denisova Cave carries a mitochondrial genome highly similar to that of the finger bone. This tooth shares no derived morphological features with Neanderthals or modern humans, further indicating that Denisovans have an evolutionary history distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans.

Mentioned in this Paper

Epoch
Genome
DNA, Mitochondrial
Deciduous Maxillary Right Second Molar Tooth
Phylogeny
Genus Homo
Phalanx of Hand
Tooth Structure
Neanderthals
Genetic Materials

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