Variation and Functional Impact of Neanderthal Ancestry in Western Asia

Taskent, Recep Ozgur
Alioglu, Nursen Duha
Fer, Evrim
Donertas, Handan Melike
Somel, Mehmet
Gokcumen, Omer
Neanderthals contributed genetic material to modern humans via multiple admixture events. Initial admixture events presumably occurred in Western Asia shortly after humans migrated out of Africa. Despite being a focal point of admixture, earlier studies indicate lower Neanderthal introgression rates in some Western Asian populations as compared with other Eurasian populations. To better understand the genome-wide and phenotypic impact of Neanderthal introgression in the region, we sequenced whole genomes of nine present-day Europeans. Africans, and the Western Asian Druze at high depth, and analyzed available whole genome data from various other populations, including 16 genomes from present-day Turkey. Our results confirmed previous observations that contemporary Western Asian populations, on an average, have lower levels of Neanderthal-introgressed DNA relative to other Eurasian populations. Modern Western Asians also show comparatively high variability in Neanderthal ancestry, which may be attributed to the complex demographic history of the region. We further replicated the previously described depletion of putatively functional sequences among Neanderthal-introgressed haplotypes. Still, we find dozens of common Neanderthalintrogressed haplotypes in the Turkish sample associated with human phenotypes, including anthropometric and metabolic traits, as well as the immune response. One of these haplotypes is unusually long and harbors variants that affect the expression of members of the CCR gene family and are associated with celiac disease. Overall, our results paint a complex first picture of the genomic impact of Neanderthal introgression in the Western Asian populations.


Variation in Genetic Relatedness Patterns among Co-burials in Anatolian Neolithic Societies
Yaka, Reyhan; Mapelli, Igor; Kaptan, Damla; Doğu, Ayça; Chyleński, Maciej; Erdal, Ömür Dilek; Vural, Kıvılcım Başak; Bayliss, Alex; Koptekin, Dilek; Mazzucato, Camilla; Fer, Evrim; Lagerholm, Vendela Kempe; Krzewińska, Maja; Yurtman, Erinç; Çokoğlu, Sevim Seda; Gemici, Hasan Can; Kılınç, Gülşah Merve; Adams, Donovan; Munters, Arielle R.; (2021-06-01)
The Neolithic Transition to village life and food production first emerged in the Fertile Crescent (c.10th and early 9th millennium BCE) and fundamentally reshaped human history. Although this transition involved major changes in human lifestyle, the social organization and traditions of the earliest sedentary communities is poorly understood. Here, we investigate genetic relatedness patterns among co-buried individuals within domestic structures in Neolithic Anatolia by studying 22 newly generated ancient ...
Exceptional maternal lineage diversity in brown bears (Ursus arctos) from Turkey
Cilingir, F. Gozde; Peksen, Cigdem Akin; Ambarli, Huseyin; Beerli, Peter; Bilgin, Cemal Can (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2016-02-01)
The genetic diversity and phylogeography of maternal lineages in Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758 (the brown bear) have been studied extensively over the last two decades; however, sampling has largely been limited to the northern Holarctic, and was possibly biased towards lineages that recolonized the vast expanses of the north as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ended. Here we report the genetic diversity and phylogeography of U.arctos from Turkey based on 35 non-invasive samples, including five from captive ind...
Alu insertion polymorphisms and an assessment of the genetic contribution of Central Asia to Anatolia with respect to the Balkans
Berkman, Ceren Caner; Dinc, Havva; Sekeryapan, Ceran; Togan, İnci Zehra (Wiley, 2008-05-01)
In the evolutionary history of modern humans, Anatolia acted as a bridge between the Caucasus, the Near East, and Europe. Because of its geographical location, Anatolia was subject to migrations from multiple different regions throughout time. The last, well-known migration was the movement of Turkic speaking, nomadic groups from Central Asia. They invaded Anatolia and then the language of the region was gradually replaced by the Turkic language. In the present study, insertion frequencies of 10 Alu loci (A...
Variable kinship patterns in Neolithic Anatolia revealed by ancient genomes
Yaka, Reyhan; et. al. (2021-06-01)
The social organization of the first fully sedentary societies that emerged during the Neolithic period in Southwest Asia remains enigmatic,1 mainly because material culture studies provide limited insight into this issue. However, because Neolithic Anatolian communities often buried their dead beneath domestic buildings,2 household composition and social structure can be studied through these human remains. Here, we describe genetic relatedness among co-burials associated with domestic buildings in Neolith...
Pattern and magnitude of genetic diversity in Pinus nigra ARNOLD subspecies pallasiana populations from Kazdagi: Implications for in situ conservation
Cengel, Burcu; Velioğlu, Ercan; Tolun, Ayper A; Kaya, Zeki (2000-01-01)
To determine the genetic structure of black pine (Pinus nigra ARNOLD subspecies pallasiana), populations sampled from Kazdag (Eybekli, Asar, Katrandag, Kalklm, Gurgendag, Kapidag, Mihlidere). Isozymes from 16 enzyme systems were investigated from haploid female megagametophytes by starch gel electrophoresis.
Citation Formats
R. O. Taskent, N. D. Alioglu, E. Fer, H. M. Donertas, M. Somel, and O. Gokcumen, “Variation and Functional Impact of Neanderthal Ancestry in Western Asia,” GENOME BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, pp. 3516–3524, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: