Abstract: Archaeological findings suggest that modern humans have inhabited the Caucasus since Paleolithic times but little is known about their origin and how they have interacted with neighboring populations. Previous genetic studies of present-day populations from the Steppe suggested the Caucasus acted as a barrier, leading to genetic discontinuity between the Caucasus and the East European Plain. Furthermore, geography, ethnicity, and language are also expected to influence the mating patterns of the populations inhabiting the Caucasus and thus create genetic structure within this region. Here we use whole-genome genotyping and sequencing data to fully understand the genetic diversity of the Caucasus and its role in the demographic process that shaped modern Eurasian genomes. Combining data from 12 high-coverage whole-genome sequences, four each from Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan with SNP-genotype data from more than 250 individuals from the same populations, we present one of the most comprehensive datasets for this region. Principal component analyses, followed by model-based clustering, reveal previously unreported structure among the Caucasus populations. In particular, we discovered three different clusters among Georgians and two in Azerbaijan, in addition to different ancestral proportions in these clusters. MSMC analysis of the whole genomes shows Caucasus populations have diverged in the last 20,000 years from other Eurasians and have experienced different demographic changes in recent times. We thus provide a detailed analysis of the past and present demography of the Caucasus which will be useful for understanding the genetic diversity of this region and the relationship with European populations.Mezzavilla et al., Genetic structure and demographic history of the Caucasus: insights from whole-genome sequences, ESHG EMPAG 2016 Presentation Abstract, P18.020D See also... Ancient Polish admixture in Denmark
Sunday, May 1, 2016
ESHG 2016 abstracts
See the Programme Planner here. Below is an abstract on the population history of the Caucasus. The emphasis is mine. Who actually believes the 20,000 year estimate? It sounds far fetched to me; probably blown out by minor East and/or South Asian admixture not accounted for by the authors.