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Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa

Authors
  • Schlebusch, Carina M.
  • Jakobsson, Mattias
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Aug 31, 2018
Volume
19
Pages
405–428
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-genom-083117-021759
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In the last three decades, genetic studies have played an increasingly important role in exploring human history. They have helped to conclusively establish that anatomically modern humans first appeared in Africa roughly 250,000–350,000 years before present and subsequently migrated to other parts of the world. The history of humans in Africa is complex and includes demographic events that influenced patterns of genetic variation across the continent. Through genetic studies, it has become evident that deep African population history is captured by relationships among African hunter–gatherers, as the world's deepest population divergences occur among these groups, and that the deepest population divergence dates to 300,000 years before present. However, the spread of pastoralism and agriculture in the last few thousand years has shaped the geographic distribution of present-day Africans and their genetic diversity. With today's sequencing technologies, we can obtain full genome sequences from diverse sets of extant and prehistoric Africans. The coming years will contribute exciting new insights toward deciphering human evolutionary history in Africa.

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