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Dispersals and genetic adaptation of Bantu-speaking populations in Africa and North America

Patin, E., Lopez, M., Grollemund, R., Verdu, P., Harmant, C., Quach, H., Laval, G., Perry, G. H., Barreiro, L. B., Froment, A., Heyer, E., Massougbodji, A., Fortes-Lima, C., Migot-Nabias, F., Bellis, G., Dugoujon, J.-M., Pereira, J. B., Fernandes, V., Pereira, L., Van der Veen, L. , Mouguiama-Daouda, P., Bustamante, C. D., Hombert, J.-M. and Quintana-Murci, L. (2017) Dispersals and genetic adaptation of Bantu-speaking populations in Africa and North America. Science, 356 (6337). pp. 543-546. ISSN 1095-9203

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1988

Abstract/Summary

Bantu languages are spoken by about 310 million Africans, yet the genetic history of Bantu-speaking populations remains largely unexplored. We generated genomic data for 1318 individuals from 35 populations in western central Africa, where Bantu languages originated. We found that early Bantu speakers first moved southward, through the equatorial rainforest, before spreading toward eastern and southern Africa. We also found that genetic adaptation of Bantu speakers was facilitated by admixture with local populations, particularly for the HLA and LCT loci. Finally, we identified a major contribution of western central African Bantu speakers to the ancestry of African Americans, whose genomes present no strong signals of natural selection. Together, these results highlight the contribution of Bantu-speaking peoples to the complex genetic history of Africans and African Americans.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:70366
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science

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