Speciation Journal Club: Excavating Neandertal and Denisovan DNA
This thursday, at the Speciation Journal Club, we will discuss a paper entitled
"Excavating Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from the genomes of Melanesian individuals" by Vernot et al. 2016 (Science)
Excavating Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from the genomes of Melanesian individuals
Modern humans carry remnants of DNA from interbreeding events with archaic lineages, such as Neandertals. However, people from Oceania also retain genes from a second ancient lineage, the Denisovans. Vernot et al. surveyed archaic genomic sequences in a worldwide sample of modern humans, including 35 individuals from the Melanesian Islands. All non-African genomes surveyed contained Neandertal DNA, but a significant Denisovan component was found only in the Melanesians. Reconstruction of this genetic history suggests that Neandertals bred with modern humans multiple times, but Denosivans only once, in ancestors of modern-day Melanesians.