First ancient genome recovered from Mediterranean area

Date: September 2, 2015

Source:Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Summary:An international team of researchers has sequenced the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer, which is also the first ancient genome from the entire Mediterranean area. This new genome allows to know the distinctive genetic changes of Neolithic migration in Southern Europe which led to the abandonment of the hunter-gatherer way of life.

The cave named Cova Bonica, in Vallirana (Barcelona, Spain), where the remains have been found.
Credit: Joan Daura/ Montserrat Sanz
An international team of researchers has sequenced the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer, which is also the first ancient genome from the entire Mediterranean area. This new genome allows to know the distinctive genetic changes of Neolithic migration in Southern Europe which led to the abandonment of the hunter-gatherer way of life. The study is led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, a joint center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain), in collaboration with the Centre for GeoGenetics in Denmark. The results are published in the Molecular Biology and Evolutionjournal.

The first farmers entering Europe about 8,000 years ago coming from the Near East spread through the continent following two different routes: one to Central Europe via the Danube, and the other towards the Iberian peninsula following the Mediterranean coast. These latter farmers developed their own cultural tradition: the Cardium Pottery, so-called due to a characteristic incised decoration made with the edges of bivalves shells belonging to the genus Cerastoderma (formerly Cardium).

So far, only genomic data of various individuals belonging to the inland route found in Hungary and Germany were available, but the complete genomes of the Mediterranean route were lacked. This is partly due to the climatic conditions in Southern Europe, which hinder the conservation of genetic material…

Source:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150902191352.htm

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