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Population genomics of Mesolithic Scandinavia : Investigating early postglacial migration routes and high-latitude adaptation

Günther, Torsten; Malmström, Helena; Svensson, Emma; Omrak, Ayca; Sánchez-Quinto, Federico; Apel, Jan LU and Jakobsson, Mattias (2018) In PLoS Biology 16(1).
Abstract
Scandinavia was one of the last geographic areas in Europe to become habitable for humans after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, the routes and genetic composition of these postglacial migrants remain unclear. We sequenced the genomes, up to 57× coverage, of seven hunter-gatherers excavated across Scandinavia and dated from 9,500–6,000 years before present (BP). Surprisingly, among the Scandinavian Mesolithic individuals, the genetic data display an east–west genetic gradient that opposes the pattern seen in other parts of Mesolithic Europe. Our results suggest two different early postglacial migrations into Scandinavia: initially from the south, and later, from the northeast. The latter followed the ice-free Norwegian north... (More)
Scandinavia was one of the last geographic areas in Europe to become habitable for humans after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, the routes and genetic composition of these postglacial migrants remain unclear. We sequenced the genomes, up to 57× coverage, of seven hunter-gatherers excavated across Scandinavia and dated from 9,500–6,000 years before present (BP). Surprisingly, among the Scandinavian Mesolithic individuals, the genetic data display an east–west genetic gradient that opposes the pattern seen in other parts of Mesolithic Europe. Our results suggest two different early postglacial migrations into Scandinavia: initially from the south, and later, from the northeast. The latter followed the ice-free Norwegian north Atlantic coast, along which novel and advanced pressure-blade stone-tool techniques may have spread. These two groups met and mixed in Scandinavia, creating a genetically diverse population, which shows patterns of genetic adaptation to high latitude environments. These potential adaptations include high frequencies of low pigmentation variants and a gene region associated with physical performance, which shows strong continuity into modern-day northern Europeans. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS Biology
volume
16
issue
1
pages
22 pages
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • scopus:85041326290
ISSN
1544-9173
DOI
10.1371/journal.pbio.2003703
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a3e53785-4a09-4f9b-9fb0-8ee59f2e4752
date added to LUP
2018-01-31 19:37:34
date last changed
2018-10-28 04:50:56
@article{a3e53785-4a09-4f9b-9fb0-8ee59f2e4752,
  abstract     = {Scandinavia was one of the last geographic areas in Europe to become habitable for humans after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, the routes and genetic composition of these postglacial migrants remain unclear. We sequenced the genomes, up to 57× coverage, of seven hunter-gatherers excavated across Scandinavia and dated from 9,500–6,000 years before present (BP). Surprisingly, among the Scandinavian Mesolithic individuals, the genetic data display an east–west genetic gradient that opposes the pattern seen in other parts of Mesolithic Europe. Our results suggest two different early postglacial migrations into Scandinavia: initially from the south, and later, from the northeast. The latter followed the ice-free Norwegian north Atlantic coast, along which novel and advanced pressure-blade stone-tool techniques may have spread. These two groups met and mixed in Scandinavia, creating a genetically diverse population, which shows patterns of genetic adaptation to high latitude environments. These potential adaptations include high frequencies of low pigmentation variants and a gene region associated with physical performance, which shows strong continuity into modern-day northern Europeans.},
  author       = {Günther, Torsten and Malmström, Helena and Svensson, Emma and Omrak, Ayca and Sánchez-Quinto, Federico and Apel, Jan and Jakobsson, Mattias},
  issn         = {1544-9173},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {22},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS Biology},
  title        = {Population genomics of Mesolithic Scandinavia : Investigating early postglacial migration routes and high-latitude adaptation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2003703},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2018},
}