MIG Seminar – Murray Cox – 8th March, 2019

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Andrew Siebel


T: +61 3 8344 0707

Murray Cox

Massey University, New Zealand
*Visiting Miegunyah Fellow

Friday 8th March
Agar Theatre, BioSciences 4 Building, The University of Melbourne

Multiple deeply divergent Denisovan ancestries in Papuans

Genome sequences are known for two archaic hominins – Neanderthals and Denisovans – which interbred with anatomically modern humans as they dispersed out of Africa. By extracting archaic haplotypes from 161 new genomes spanning 14 island groups in Island Southeast Asia and Papua, we find large stretches of DNA that are inconsistent with a single introgressing Denisovan origin. Instead, modern Papuans carry hundreds of gene variants from two deeply divergent Denisovan lineages, separated by over 350 thousand years. Geographical structure in these lineages implies introgression from Denisovans living east of the Wallace line and suggests considerable complexity in archaic contact among Papuan groups. A third Denisovan lineage occurs in modern Siberians, Native Americans and East Asians. This regional mosaic suggests that modern humans interbred with multiple Denisovan populations, which were geographically isolated from each other over deep evolutionary time.

Enquiries: Andrew Siebel (asiebel@unimelb.edu.au)