The 88th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2019)

The landscape of Denisovan ancestry in the Americas


1Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Center for Computational Molecular Biology, Brown University, 2Molecular Cell Biology, University of California Merced

March 28, 2019 11:00, CC Ballroom A Add to calendar

Since acquiring sequences of archaic humans, we have increased our understanding of how archaic introgression is distributed across genomes in Eurasia and Oceania. By contrast, we know very little about how archaic introgressed segments are distributed across genomes from the Americas, and in fact these genomes are often excluded from analysis because most samples available exhibit confounding European and African ancestry. Recent work has examined Neanderthal and Denisovan admixture in a small sample set from the Americas, but very little discussion has been presented beyond quantifying admixture and observing higher levels than in Europeans and similar levels in East Asians. Here, we investigate the number and frequency of Denisovan variants along the genomes from the Americas. We find that populations in the Americas exhibit varying levels of Denisovan genetic variants likely due the effect of demographic history such as recent admixture from Europe and Africa and the effects of serial bottlenecks. For example, Peruvians harbor a larger number of high frequency Denisovan variants than other admixed populations in the Americas. We also investigate what regions of the genome have a large concentration of high frequency Denisovan variants, suggestive of adaptive introgression.

We thank both NIH (1R35GM128946-01) and NSF (DEB-1557151) for funding this research