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Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population

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  • Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population

    NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | ARTICLE OPEN
    Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population throughout most of modern-human demographic history
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/14...comms6692.html
    Nature Communications 5, Article number: 5692 doi:10.1038/ncomms6692
    2014

    Abstract• Introduction• Results• Discussion• Methods• Additional information• Accession codes• References• Acknowledgements• Author information• Supplementary information
    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.
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