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The selection landscape and genetic legacy of ancient Eurasians

Irving-Pease, EK; Refoyo-Martínez, A; Barrie, W; Ingason, A; Pearson, A; Fischer, A; Sjögren, KG; ... Willerslev, E; + view all (2024) The selection landscape and genetic legacy of ancient Eurasians. Nature , 625 (7994) pp. 312-320. 10.1038/s41586-023-06705-1. Green open access

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Abstract

The Holocene (beginning around 12,000 years ago) encompassed some of the most significant changes in human evolution, with far-reaching consequences for the dietary, physical and mental health of present-day populations. Using a dataset of more than 1,600 imputed ancient genomes 1, we modelled the selection landscape during the transition from hunting and gathering, to farming and pastoralism across West Eurasia. We identify key selection signals related to metabolism, including that selection at the FADS cluster began earlier than previously reported and that selection near the LCT locus predates the emergence of the lactase persistence allele by thousands of years. We also find strong selection in the HLA region, possibly due to increased exposure to pathogens during the Bronze Age. Using ancient individuals to infer local ancestry tracts in over 400,000 samples from the UK Biobank, we identify widespread differences in the distribution of Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age ancestries across Eurasia. By calculating ancestry-specific polygenic risk scores, we show that height differences between Northern and Southern Europe are associated with differential Steppe ancestry, rather than selection, and that risk alleles for mood-related phenotypes are enriched for Neolithic farmer ancestry, whereas risk alleles for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are enriched for Western hunter-gatherer ancestry. Our results indicate that ancient selection and migration were large contributors to the distribution of phenotypic diversity in present-day Europeans.

Type: Article
Title: The selection landscape and genetic legacy of ancient Eurasians
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06705-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06705-1
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Archaeology, Evolutionary genetics, Genomics, Molecular , evolution, Population genetics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186055
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