Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6

Luísa Pereira, Nuno M. Silva, Ricardo Franco-Duarte, Veránica Fernandes, Joana B. Pereira, Marta D. Costa, Haidé Martins, Pedro Soares, Doron M. Behar, Martin B. Richards, Vincent MacAulay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. The archaeology of North Africa remains enigmatic, with questions of population continuity versus discontinuity taking centre-stage. Debates have focused on population transitions between the bearers of the Middle Palaeolithic Aterian industry and the later Upper Palaeolithic populations of the Maghreb, as well as between the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Results. Improved resolution of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup U6 phylogeny, by the screening of 39 new complete sequences, has enabled us to infer a signal of moderate population expansion using Bayesian coalescent methods. To ascertain the time for this expansion, we applied both a mutation rate accounting for purifying selection and one with an internal calibration based on four approximate archaeological dates: the settlement of the Canary Islands, the settlement of Sardinia and its internal population re-expansion, and the split between haplogroups U5 and U6 around the time of the first modern human settlement of the Near East. Conclusions. A Bayesian skyline plot placed the main expansion in the time frame of the Late Pleistocene, around 20 ka, and spatial smoothing techniques suggested that the most probable geographic region for this demographic event was to the west of North Africa. A comparison with U6's European sister clade, U5, revealed a stronger population expansion at around this time in Europe. Also in contrast with U5, a weak signal of a recent population expansion in the last 5,000 years was observed in North Africa, pointing to a moderate impact of the late Neolithic on the local population size of the southern Mediterranean coast.

LanguageEnglish
Article number390
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

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mitochondrial DNA
Pleistocene
Paleolithic
Northern Africa
human settlement
archaeology
smoothing
population size
mutation
Maghreb
discontinuity
phylogeny
Holocene
human settlements
calibration
Sardinia
Canary Islands
Middle East
Bayesian theory
coast

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Pereira, L., Silva, N. M., Franco-Duarte, R., Fernandes, V., Pereira, J. B., Costa, M. D., ... MacAulay, V. (2010). Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10(1), 1-10. [390]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-390
Pereira, Luísa ; Silva, Nuno M. ; Franco-Duarte, Ricardo ; Fernandes, Veránica ; Pereira, Joana B. ; Costa, Marta D. ; Martins, Haidé ; Soares, Pedro ; Behar, Doron M. ; Richards, Martin B. ; MacAulay, Vincent. / Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6. In: BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2010 ; Vol. 10, No. 1. pp. 1-10.
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Pereira, L, Silva, NM, Franco-Duarte, R, Fernandes, V, Pereira, JB, Costa, MD, Martins, H, Soares, P, Behar, DM, Richards, MB & MacAulay, V 2010, 'Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6', BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 10, no. 1, 390, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-390

Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6. / Pereira, Luísa; Silva, Nuno M.; Franco-Duarte, Ricardo; Fernandes, Veránica; Pereira, Joana B.; Costa, Marta D.; Martins, Haidé; Soares, Pedro; Behar, Doron M.; Richards, Martin B.; MacAulay, Vincent.

In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 10, No. 1, 390, 23.12.2010, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Silva, Nuno M.

AU - Franco-Duarte, Ricardo

AU - Fernandes, Veránica

AU - Pereira, Joana B.

AU - Costa, Marta D.

AU - Martins, Haidé

AU - Soares, Pedro

AU - Behar, Doron M.

AU - Richards, Martin B.

AU - MacAulay, Vincent

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Y1 - 2010/12/23

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Pereira L, Silva NM, Franco-Duarte R, Fernandes V, Pereira JB, Costa MD et al. Population expansion in the North African Late Pleistocene signalled by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U6. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 2010 Dec 23;10(1):1-10. 390. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-390