Adaptive, convergent origins of the pygmy phenotype in African rainforest hunter-gatherers

Perry, George H.; Foll, Matthieu; Grenier, Jean-Christophe; Patin, Etienne; Nédélec, Yohann; Pacis, Alain; Barakatt, Maxime; Gravel, Simon; Zhou, Xiang; Nsobya, Sam L.; Excoffier, Laurent; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Dominy, Nathaniel J.; Barreiro, Luis B. (2014). Adaptive, convergent origins of the pygmy phenotype in African rainforest hunter-gatherers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS, 111(35), E3596-E3603. National Academy of Sciences NAS 10.1073/pnas.1402875111

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Tropical rainforest hunter-gatherer populations worldwide share the pygmy phenotype, or small human body size. The evolutionary history of this phenotype is largely unknown. Here we studied DNA from the Batwa, a rainforest hunter-gatherer population from east central Africa, to identify regions of the Batwa genome that underlie the pygmy phenotype. We then performed population genomic analyses to study the evolution of these regions, including comparisons with the Baka, a west central African rainforest hunter-gatherer population. We conclude that the pygmy phenotype likely arose due to positive natural selection and that it arose possibly multiple times within Africa. These results support longstanding anthropological hypotheses that small body size confers an important selective advantage for human rainforest hunter-gatherers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Population Genetics

UniBE Contributor:

Foll, Matthieu and Excoffier, Laurent

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0027-8424

Publisher:

National Academy of Sciences NAS

Language:

English

Submitter:

Isabelle Duperret

Date Deposited:

10 Sep 2015 09:23

Last Modified:

10 Sep 2015 09:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1073/pnas.1402875111

PubMed ID:

25136101

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.71391

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/71391

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