African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA.

  title={African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA.},
  author={Linda Vigilant and Mark Stoneking and H Harpending and Kristen Hawkes and A. C. Wilson},
  volume={253 5027},
The proposal that all mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) types in contemporary humans stem from a common ancestor present in an African population some 200,000 years ago has attracted much attention. To study this proposal further, two hypervariable segments of mtDNA were sequenced from 189 people of diverse geographic origin, including 121 native Africans. Geographic specificity was observed in that identical mtDNA types are shared within but not between populations. A tree relating these mtDNA… 

Evidence for mitochondrial DNA recombination in a human population of island Melanesia

It is proposed that the multiple occurrence of a rare mutation event in one isolated locality is highly improbable, and that recombination between different mtDNA types is a more likely explanation for the authors' observation.

Human mitochondrial DNA diversity is compatible with the multiregional continuity theory of the origin of Homo sapiens

The hypothesis that a migration of modern humans out of Africa in the range of 140,000 to 280,000 years ago resulted in the complete replacement, without genetic interchange, of earlier Eurasian hominid populations is one of several possible interpretations of the mtDNA data.

Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution

  • M. Stoneking
  • Biology
    Journal of bioenergetics and biomembranes
  • 1994
A new method of analyzing mtDNA data is described that suggests that all human populations underwent a dramatic expansion some 40,000 years ago, possibly in association with revolutionary advances in human behavior, as well as an important implication of population expansions for mtDNA disease studies.

Ancient and modern mitochondrial DNA sequences and the colonization of the pacific

Results of mtDNA analyses on modern‐day Pacific populations indicate reduced genetic variability, and suggest that the Polynesians descend from people who migrated relatively recently from island Southeast Asia and that a population bottleneck occurred during the settlement of the central Pacific.

The evolution of the mitochondrial D-loop region and the origin of modern man.

The analysis supports the African origin of modern man, but it is found that the ancestral female from which all extant human mtDNAs originated lived in a time span of 0.3-0.8 Mya, which implies that the earliest divergence would have been in the Homo erectus population.

DNA sequence of the mitochondrial hypervariable region II from the neandertal type specimen.

The results support the concept that the Neandertal mtDNA evolved separately from that of modern humans for a substantial amount of time and lends no support to the idea that they contributed mtDNA to contemporary modern humans.

Mitochondrial genome variation and the origin of modern humans

The global mtDNA diversity in humans is described based on analyses of the complete mtDNA sequence of 53 humans of diverse origins, providing a concurrent view on human evolution with respect to the age of modern humans.

Mitochondrial DNA Variation in Ancient and Modern Humans

The very high rate of accumulation of mutations means that deleterious mtDNA mutations are important in human disease and ageing, and there are numerous harmless mutations, either silent or in non-coding regions, which can provide convenient genetic markers for the reconstruction of human evolutionary history.

DNA and recent human evolution

The focus of this review is the mtDNA story, and brief mention is made of studies of nuclear DNA variation (both autosomal and Y‐chromosome DNA) and the implications of the genetic data with regard to the fossil record and the authors' understanding of recent human evolution.



Origin and differentiation of human mitochondrial DNA.

The distribution of shared types between continental groups indicates that caucasoid populations could be the closest to an ancestral population from which all other continental groups would have diverged and the lapse of time necessary for creating the observed molecular diversity from an ancestral monomorphic population has been calculated.

Mitochondrial DNA sequences in single hairs from a southern African population.

Evidence of geographic structuring of the mitochondrial diversity in Africa, together with knowledge of the rate of accumulation of base changes in human mtDNA, implies that the average rate at which female lineages have moved their home bases during hunter-gatherer times could be as low as 13 meters per year.

Geographic variation in human mitochondrial DNA from Papua New Guinea.

Analysis of high resolution mitochondrial DNA restriction maps in Papua New Guinea shows that there is significant structuring of mtDNA variation among worldwide populations, between highland and coastal PNG populations, and even between two highland PNG populations located approximately 200 km apart; however, coastal PNG population are essentially panmictic, despite being spread over several hundred kilometers.

Rapid evolution of animal mitochondrial DNA.

The rate of evolution of the mitochondrial genome appears to exceed that of the single-copy fraction of the nuclear genome by a factor of about 10 and is likely to be an extremely useful molecule to employ for high-resolution analysis of the evolutionary process.

Human mitochondrial DNA variation and evolution: analysis of nucleotide sequences from seven individuals.

Analysis of nucleotide sequence variation in an approximately 900-base pair region of the human mitochondrial DNA molecule encompassing the heavy strand origin of replication and the D-loop revealed several significant biases, most notably a strand dependence of substitution type and a 32-fold bias favoring transitions over transversions.

Polymorphic sites and the mechanism of evolution in human mitochondrial DNA.

This example, along with that for the mitochondrial rRNA genes and the nuclear genes coding for mitochondrial ribosomal proteins, provides evidence for coevolution between specific nuclear and mitochondrial genes.

Phylogeny of human beta-globin haplotypes and its implications for recent human evolution.

An African origin for modern Homo sapiens and a phyletic structuring of the major geographical regions are supported and it is shown that divergence times for the various populations cannot be determined from these data.

Branching pattern in the evolutionary tree for human mitochondrial DNA.

  • A. Di RienzoA. Wilson
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1991
Eighty-eight types of mitochondrial DNA were found by sequencing the most variable part of the control region from 117 Caucasians, implying that the probability of survival of new lineages has undergone dramatic changes, probably due to population expansion.

Evolutionary relationships of human populations from an analysis of nuclear DNA polymorphisms

It is found that all non-African populations share a limited number of common haplotypes whereas Africans have predominantly a different haplotype not found in other populations.

Reconstruction of human evolution: bringing together genetic, archaeological, and linguistic data.

The reconstruction of human evolutionary history was checked with statistical techniques such as "boot-strapping" and changes some earlier conclusions and is in agreement with more recent ones, including published and unpublished DNA-marker results.