BacR (bacr) wrote,
BacR
bacr

mtDNA

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Edition 2 - Volume 14 - Mammals - Part 3

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) evidence initially seemed
to support the origin of anatomically modern humans from
a very small late Pleistocene founding population in sub-
Saharan Africa. This idea became a prominent feature in many
textbooks, where it was categorized as the “Out of Africa” or
“Complete Replacement” model, because it seemed to imply
that modern humans completely replaced their predecessors
in the Old World, who went extinct without issue. However,
Templeton in 2002, using mtDNA and nuclear DNA from
both autosomes and sex chromosomes, demonstrated that the
evolutionary picture is substantially more complex, with a series
of migrations out of Africa and another migratory vector
out of Asia. There was no single small founding population
for modern humans, during either the middle or late Pleistocene.
Mitochondrial DNA has also failed to elucidate lower
level questions about human evolution and dispersal. For example,
it is clear in 2003 that mtDNA from Native Americans
cannot illuminate crucial questions about the peopling
of the Americas, such as the number or timing of migration
events, or the source of the founding populations.
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