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Modern human origins: multiregional evolution of autosomes and East Asia origin of Y and mtDNA

By Dejian Yuan, Xiaoyun Lei, Yuanyuan Gui, Mingrui Wang, Ye Zhang, Zuobin Zhu, Dapeng Wang, Jun Yu, Shi Huang

Posted 18 Jan 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/101410

The neutral theory has been used as a null model for interpreting nature and produced the Recent Out of Africa model of anatomically modern humans. Recent studies, however, have established that genetic diversities are mostly at maximum saturation levels maintained by selection, therefore challenging the explanatory power of the neutral theory and rendering the present molecular model of human origins untenable. Using improved methods and public data, we have revisited human evolution and found sharing of genetic variations among racial groups to be largely a result of parallel mutations rather than recent common ancestry and admixture as commonly assumed. We derived an age of 1.86-1.92 million years for the first split in modern human populations based on autosomal diversity data. We found evidence of modern Y and mtDNA originating in East Asia and dispersing via hybridization with archaic humans. Analyses of autosomes, Y and mtDNA all suggest that Denisovan and Neanderthal were archaic Africans with Eurasian admixtures and ancestors of South Asia Negritos and Aboriginal Australians. Verifying our model, we found more ancestry of Southern Chinese from Hunan in Africans relative to other East Asian groups examined. These results suggest multiregional evolution of autosomes and replacements of archaic Y and mtDNA by modern ones originating in East Asia, thereby leading to a coherent account of modern human origins.

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