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Mutation Rate Switch inside Eurasian Mitochondrial Haplogroups: Impact of Selection and Consequences for Dating Settlement in Europe

  • Author(s): Pierron, Denis
  • Chang, Ivan
  • Arachiche, Amal
  • Heiske, Margit
  • Thomas, Olivier
  • Borlin, Marine
  • Pennarun, Erwan
  • Murail, Pacal
  • Thoraval, Didier
  • Rocher, Christophe
  • Letellier, Thierry
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license
Abstract

R-lineage mitochondrial DNA represents over 90% of the European population and is significantly present all around the planet (North Africa, Asia, Oceania, and America). This lineage played a major role in migration “out of Africa” and colonization in Europe. In order to determine an accurate dating of the R lineage and its sublineages, we analyzed 1173 individuals and complete mtDNA sequences from Mitomap. This analysis revealed a new coalescence age for R at 54.500 years, as well as several limitations of standard dating methods, likely to lead to false interpretations. These findings highlight the association of a striking under-accumulation of synonymous mutations, an over-accumulation of non-synonymous mutations, and the phenotypic effect on haplogroup J. Consequently, haplogroup J is apparently not a Neolithic group but an older haplogroup (Paleolithic) that was subjected to an underestimated selective force. These findings also indicated an under-accumulation of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations localized on coding and non-coding (HVS1) sequences for haplogroup R0, which contains the major haplogroups H and V. These new dates are likely to impact the present colonization model for Europe and confirm the late glacial resettlement scenario.

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