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Title: Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population throughout most of modern-human demographic history
Authors: Kim, Hie Lim
Ratan, Aakrosh
Perry, George H.
Montenegro, Alvaro
Miller, Webb
Schuster, Stephan C.
Keywords: Genomics
Population Genetics
DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology
Issue Date: 2014
Source: Kim, H. L., Ratan, A., Perry, G. H., Montenegro, A., Miller, W., & Schuster, S. C. (2014). Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population throughout most of modern-human demographic history. Nature Communications, 5(1). doi:10.1038/ncomms6692
Series/Report no.: Nature Communications
Abstract: The Khoisan people from Southern Africa maintained ancient lifestyles as hunter-gatherers or pastoralists up to modern times, though little else is known about their early history. Here we infer early demographic histories of modern humans using whole-genome sequences of five Khoisan individuals and one Bantu speaker. Comparison with a 420 K SNP data set from worldwide individuals demonstrates that two of the Khoisan genomes from the Ju/'hoansi population contain exclusive Khoisan ancestry. Coalescent analysis shows that the Khoisan and their ancestors have been the largest populations since their split with the non-Khoisan population ∼ 100-150 kyr ago. In contrast, the ancestors of the non-Khoisan groups, including Bantu-speakers and non-Africans, experienced population declines after the split and lost more than half of their genetic diversity. Paleoclimate records indicate that the precipitation in southern Africa increased ∼ 80-100 kyr ago while west-central Africa became drier. We hypothesize that these climate differences might be related to the divergent-ancient histories among human populations.
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6692
Rights: © 2014 The Author(s) (Nature Publishing Group) (Open Access). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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