Evolutionary history and adaptation of a human pygmy population of Flores Island, Indonesia

Serena Tucci, Samuel H. Vohr, Rajiv C. McCoy, Benjamin Vernot, Matthew R. Robinson, Chiara Barbieri, Brad J. Nelson, Wenqing Fu, Gludhug A. Purnomo, Herawati Sudoyo, Evan E. Eichler, Guido Barbujani, Peter M. Visscher, Joshua M. Akey, Richard E. Green

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Flores Island, Indonesia, was inhabited by the small-bodied hominin species Homo floresiensis, which has an unknown evolutionary relationship to modern humans. This island is also home to an extant human pygmy population. Here we describe genome-scale single-nucleotide polymorphism data and whole-genome sequences from a contemporary human pygmy population living on Flores near the cave where H. floresiensis was found. The genomes of Flores pygmies reveal a complex history of admixture with Denisovans and Neanderthals but no evidence for gene flow with other archaic hominins. Modern individuals bear the signatures of recent positive selection encompassing the FADS (fatty acid desaturase) gene cluster, likely related to diet, and polygenic selection acting on standing variation that contributed to their short-stature phenotype. Thus, multiple independent instances of hominin insular dwarfism occurred on Flores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-516
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume361
Issue number6401
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 3 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    Tucci, S., Vohr, S. H., McCoy, R. C., Vernot, B., Robinson, M. R., Barbieri, C., Nelson, B. J., Fu, W., Purnomo, G. A., Sudoyo, H., Eichler, E. E., Barbujani, G., Visscher, P. M., Akey, J. M., & Green, R. E. (2018). Evolutionary history and adaptation of a human pygmy population of Flores Island, Indonesia. Science, 361(6401), 511-516. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar8486