Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Melanesians did not cross Beringia to introduce mtDNA D4a to Paleoamerican

In the latest article by  Pontus Skoglund, and  David Reich. (2016).A genomic view of the peopling of the Americas,  the authors  claim that the Solutrean hypothesis should be rejected because the Anzick child carried mtDNA D4, which is also carried by the Australo-Melanesians. This hypothesis is groundless because some of the  Australo-Melanesians, especially the Fijians,  claim they came from Tanzania, where , some people carry mtDNA M1, which  Gonder claims cluster with peoples from Oceania.

 Skoglund and Reich (2016), argue that the earliest Native Americans crossed the Beringa into North America, and that this Beringian population is related more to South American Indians, instead of North American Indians[i]. They argue that this population 12,600 years ago, as represented by the ‘Anzick  child of Montana was related to the  Mal’ta population. Anzick child carried  mtDNA D4h3a, and Y-chromosome Q-L54*(xM3) .

In the picture above we see in the middle a reconstruction of the first Europeans, as represented by Mal'ta man. On the left we see Naia of ancient Mexico and to the left of the first European we see Luzia, of Brazil. Luzia and Naia are aleoamericans. Anzick  child would have resembled these Blacks.

It is interesting that Anzick-1 was found in 1968. The Anzick-1 remains were returned to the Anzick family and analyzed by Sarah Anzick who discovered that the skeleton carried mtDNA D4h3a, which is also carried by Native Americans on the West Coast, of North America[ii]. Skoglund and Reich (2016) wrote:
“The most surprising finding was that the Anzick individual is from a population more closely related to Central- and South Americans than to some northern North Americans (including all speakers of Algonquian languages studied to date), despite the apparent common ancestral origin of Native Americans across the continents. This suggests that the present-day population structure of the main ancestry in Native Americans [23] dates back to more than 12,600 years ago [25], and that this diversification divided the ancestry of present-day Native Americans into two main streams, one of which includes the ancestors of present-day Northern Native Americans analyzed (‘NNA’: Cree, Ojibwa, and Algonquin), and the other of which includes the Anzick individual and present-day Central- and South American groups (‘SA’: e.g. Mixe, Quechua, and Yaghan).”

 It is surprising that given the fact that the Anzick skeleton was in the possession of Sarah Anzick who is a genomic research her that no one has questioned the results of Sarah Anzick. Since the Anzick skeleton’s DNA could have been contaminated while under the protection of the Anzick family, these results may not reflect the true ancestry of Anzick.

Skoglund and Reich (2016), argue that since the Andamanese and Australo-Melanesians carry D4h3a, this haplogroup had to have entered America via the Beringa around 12,000 BC. The presence of this haplogroup among the Australo-Melanesians is not supported by archaeological evidence.
The Fijians, for example claim they came from Tanzania. The archaeological evidence indicate that the Melanesians recently entered Melanesia from Africa. And that the Melanesian languages have an African substratum and the place-names are identical to West African placenames[iii].

The archaeological evidence indicate that the Melenesians only arrived in their present habitation areas during the Lapita cultural expansion 3-4kya. As a result, the Australo-Melanesians were not in Eurasia 12kya, as assumed by  Skoglund and Reich (2016).

Haplotypes with HVSI transitions defining 16129-16223-16249-16278-16311-16362; and 16129-16223- 16234-16249-16211-16362 have been found in Thailand and among the Han Chinese (Fucharon et al., 2001)[iv], these haplotypes were originally thought to be members of Haplogroup M1. However, on the basis of currently available FGS sequences, carriers of these markers have been found to be in the D4a branch of Haplogroup D, the most widespread branch of M1 in East Asia (Fucharon et al., 2001; Gondor et al., 2006; Yao et al., 2002)[v]. The transitions 16129, 16189, 16249 and 16311 are known to be recurrent in various branches of Haplogroup M, especially M1 and D4. Gonder et al., (2006) for example, noted that the mtDNAs of Tanzanians belonging to haplogroup M1 cluster with peoples from Oceania[vi].

Given the fact that the Melanesians recently entered the Pacific from Africa they can not be the source of the Paleoamerican population that carried mtDNA D4 to the  Anzick child. The fact that the Anzick child carrid DNA related to Mal’ta man, who lived in Europe, supports the Solutrean hypothesis for some of the Paleoamericans[vii]. Since the Solutrean culture originated in Africa and was later taken to Europe it would explain the affinity between mtDNA D4a and  the M1 carried by the Tanzanians who are the ancestors of the Fijians.

End Notes

[i]  Pontus Skoglund, David Reich. (2016).A genomic view of the peopling of the Americas, BioRxiv, retrieved July 20,2016 at: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/06/15/058966

[ii]  Rasmussen, Morten; et al. (February 13, 2014). "The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana".Nature 506: 225–229. doi:10.1038/nature13025PMID 24522598. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
[iii] ______________African and Dravidian Origins of the Melenesians, https://www.academia.edu/10306654/AFRICAN_AND_DRAVIDIAN_ORIGINS_OF_THE_MELANESIANS

[iv] Fucharoen G, Fucharoen S, Horai S (2001). Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism in Thailand. Journal of Human Genetics 46 115-125
[v] Fucharoen G, Fucharoen S, Horai S (2001). Mitochondrial DNA polymorphism in Thailand. Journal of Human Genetics 46 115-125; Gonder MK, Mortensen HM, Reed FA, de Sousa A, Tishkoff SA (2006). Whole mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24(3) 757-768; and Yao YG, Kong QP, Bandelt HJ, Kivisild T, Zhang YP (2002). Phylogeographic differentiation of mitochondrial DNA in Han chinese. The American Journal of Human Genetics 70 635-651.
[vi] Gonder MK, Mortensen HM, Reed FA, de Sousa A, Tishkoff SA (2006). Whole mtDNA Genome Sequence Analysis of Ancient African Lineages. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24(3) 757-768.
[vii] Winters,C. (2015). THE PALEOAMERICANS CAME FROM AFRICA,jirr.htm2015 Vol. 3 (3) July-September, pp.71-83/Winter. https://www.academia.edu/17137182/THE_PALEOAMERICANS_CAME_FROM_AFRICA

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