Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Origins and genetic legacies of the Caribbean Taino.

  • Author(s): Schroeder, Hannes
  • Sikora, Martin
  • Gopalakrishnan, Shyam
  • Cassidy, Lara M
  • Maisano Delser, Pierpaolo
  • Sandoval Velasco, Marcela
  • Schraiber, Joshua G
  • Rasmussen, Simon
  • Homburger, Julian R
  • Ávila-Arcos, María C
  • Allentoft, Morten E
  • Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor
  • Renaud, Gabriel
  • Gómez-Carballa, Alberto
  • Laffoon, Jason E
  • Hopkins, Rachel JA
  • Higham, Thomas FG
  • Carr, Robert S
  • Schaffer, William C
  • Day, Jane S
  • Hoogland, Menno
  • Salas, Antonio
  • Bustamante, Carlos D
  • Nielsen, Rasmus
  • Bradley, Daniel G
  • Hofman, Corinne L
  • Willerslev, Eske
  • et al.

The Caribbean was one of the last parts of the Americas to be settled by humans, but how and when the islands were first occupied remains a matter of debate. Ancient DNA can help answering these questions, but the work has been hampered by poor DNA preservation. We report the genome sequence of a 1,000-year-old Lucayan Taino individual recovered from the site of Preacher's Cave in the Bahamas. We sequenced her genome to 12.4-fold coverage and show that she is genetically most closely related to present-day Arawakan speakers from northern South America, suggesting that the ancestors of the Lucayans originated there. Further, we find no evidence for recent inbreeding or isolation in the ancient genome, suggesting that the Lucayans had a relatively large effective population size. Finally, we show that the native American components in some present-day Caribbean genomes are closely related to the ancient Taino, demonstrating an element of continuity between precontact populations and present-day Latino populations in the Caribbean.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View