Paleo-eskimo mtDNA genome reveals matrilineal discontinuity in Greenland

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Toomas Kivisild
  • Bjarne Grønnow
  • Pernille K Andersen
  • Ene Metspalu
  • Maere Reidla
  • Erika Tamm
  • Erik Axelsson
  • Anders Götherström
  • Paula F Campos
  • Morten Rasmussen
  • Mait Metspalu
  • Thomas F G Higham
  • Jean-Luc Schwenninger
  • Roger Nathan
  • Cees-Jan De Hoog
  • Anders Koch
  • Lone Nukarak Møller
  • Claus Andreasen
  • Richard Villems
  • Christian Bendixen
The Paleo-Eskimo Saqqaq and Independence I cultures, documented from archaeological remains in Northern Canada and Greenland, represent the earliest human expansion into the New World's northern extremes. However, their origin and genetic relationship to later cultures are unknown. We sequenced a mitochondrial genome from a Paleo-Eskimo human by using 3400-to 4500-year-old frozen hair excavated from an early Greenlandic Saqqaq settlement. The sample is distinct from modern Native Americans and Neo-Eskimos, falling within haplogroup D2a1, a group previously observed among modern Aleuts and Siberian Sireniki Yuit. This result suggests that the earliest migrants into the New World's northern extremes derived from populations in the Bering Sea area and were not directly related to Native Americans or the later Neo-Eskimos that replaced them.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number5884
Pages (from-to)1787-1789
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Asian Continental Ancestry Group; DNA, Mitochondrial; Emigration and Immigration; Female; Genetics, Population; Genome, Mitochondrial; Greenland; Hair; Haplotypes; History, Ancient; Humans; Indians, North American; Inuits; Male; Molecular Sequence Data; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Sequence Analysis, DNA

ID: 10457003