Math-Bio seminar: "Eight thousand years of natural selection in Europe"

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 16:00 - 17:00
Iain Mathieson (Harvard University)

The arrival of farming in Europe around 8,500 years ago necessitated adaptation to new environments, pathogens, diets, and social organizations. While indirect evidence of adaptation can be detected in patterns of genetic variation in present-day people, ancient DNA makes it possible to witness selection directly by analyzing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events. Here we report the first genome-wide scan for selection using ancient DNA, capitalizing on the largest ancient whole-genome dataset yet assembled: 230 West Eurasians dating to between 6500 and 1000 BCE, including 163 with newly reported data. The new samples include the first genome-wide data from the Anatolian Neolithic culture, who we show were members of the population that was the source of Europe’s first farmers. We identify genome-wide significant signatures of selection at loci associated with diet, pigmentation and immunity, and two independent episodes of selection on height.

Carolyn Lynch Lab, Room 318