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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Survival of Late Pleistocene Hunter-Gatherer Ancestry in the Iberian Peninsula

Vanessa Villalba-Mouco, Marieke S van de Loosdrecht, Cosimo Posth, Rafael Mora, Jorge Martínez-Moreno, Manuel Rojo-Guerra, Domingo C Salazar-García, José I Royo-Guillén, Michael Kunst, Hélène Rougier, Isabelle Crevecoeur, Héctor Arcusa-Magallón, Cristina Tejedor-Rodríguez, Iñigo García-Martínez de Lagrán, Rafael Garrido-Pena, Kurt W Alt, Choongwon Jeong, Stephan Schiffels, Pilar Utrilla, Johannes Krause, Wolfgang Haak
Current Biology: CB 2019 March 14
30880015
The Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe represents an important test case for the study of human population movements during prehistoric periods. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the peninsula formed a periglacial refugium [1] for hunter-gatherers (HGs) and thus served as a potential source for the re-peopling of northern latitudes [2]. The post-LGM genetic signature was previously described as a cline from Western HG (WHG) to Eastern HG (EHG), further shaped by later Holocene expansions from the Near East and the North Pontic steppes [3-9]. Western and central Europe were dominated by ancestry associated with the ∼14,000-year-old individual from Villabruna, Italy, which had largely replaced earlier genetic ancestry, represented by 19,000-15,000-year-old individuals associated with the Magdalenian culture [2]. However, little is known about the genetic diversity in southern European refugia, the presence of distinct genetic clusters, and correspondence with geography. Here, we report new genome-wide data from 11 HGs and Neolithic individuals that highlight the late survival of Paleolithic ancestry in Iberia, reported previously in Magdalenian-associated individuals. We show that all Iberian HGs, including the oldest, a ∼19,000-year-old individual from El Mirón in Spain, carry dual ancestry from both Villabruna and the Magdalenian-related individuals. Thus, our results suggest an early connection between two potential refugia, resulting in a genetic ancestry that survived in later Iberian HGs. Our new genomic data from Iberian Early and Middle Neolithic individuals show that the dual Iberian HG genomic legacy pertains in the peninsula, suggesting that expanding farmers mixed with local HGs. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

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