Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1266438011

Subject: [DNA] Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africareported in Nature this week
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:20:11 -0800

The genomes of two South Africans representing very early lineages have been sequenced, as reported in the following article from the latest issue of Nature, dated 17 Feb 2010. The title of the article is:

Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africa

The authors' summary is:

The genetic structure of the indigenous hunter-gatherer peoples of southern Africa, the oldest known lineage of modern human, is

important for understanding human diversity. Studies based on mitochondrial and small sets of nuclear markers have shown that

these hunter-gatherers, known as Khoisan, San, or Bushmen, are genetically divergent from other humans. However, until now,

fully sequenced human genomes have been limited to recently diverged populations. Here we present the complete genome

sequences of an indigenous hunter-gatherer from the Kalahari Desert and a Bantu from southern Africa, as well as protein-coding

regions from an additional three hunter-gatherers from disparate regions of the Kalahari. Wecharacterize the extent of whole-genome

and exome diversity among the fivemen, reporting 1.3 million novel DNA differences genome-wide, including 13,146 novel amino acid

variants. In terms of nucleotide substitutions, the Bushmen seem to be, on average, more different from each other than, for example, a

European and an Asian. Observed genomic differences between the hunter-gatherers and others may help to pinpoint genetic adaptations

to an agricultural lifestyle. Adding the described variants to current databases will facilitate inclusion of southern Africans in

medical research efforts, particularly when family and medical histories can be correlated with genome-wide data.

Richard R. Kenyon ("Dick")

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