Thursday, November 26, 2015
First Neolithic genomes from Greece
Just in at bioRxiv: Hofmanová et al., Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans The main focus of the preprint are five Neolithic genomes from north-central Greece and northwestern Turkey. They're very similar to previously published Neolithic European and Anatolian samples, and strikingly different from present-day Greeks and Turks, pointing to major genetic turnovers in the Aegean region since the Neolithic. The manuscript also reveals that, somewhat unexpectedly, two Mesolithic individuals from Thessaly, central Greece, belong to mtDNA haplogroup K1c. This is not a marker typical of other Mesolithic Europeans. It's a pity their genome-wide structure wasn't analyzed. By the way, the key to Figure 2 lists Lithuanians and Mordovians as "Slavic", which is an oversight and needs to be corrected. A bigger problem, however, is the mixture analysis presented in Figure 3. Loschbour-related ancestry is obviously inflated by East Asian admixture, hence it peaks among such groups as the Nogais of the North Caspian steppe, even though in reality they have very little Western European hunter-gatherer ancestry, if any. Also, it seems to me that Ashkenazi Jews are used to represent Poles in the mixture analysis, because there's a slither of Yourba admixture in the pie-chart sitting over Poland. If so, that's a bit silly.