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Genome-wide SNP genotyping of Central African rainforest hunter-gatherers and neighbouring agriculturalists

The emergence of agriculture in West-Central Africa, ~5,000 years ago, profoundly modified the cultural landscape and mode of subsistence of most sub-Saharan populations. How this major innovation has impacted the genetic history of rainforest hunter-gatherers — historically referred to as “pygmies” — and agriculturalists, however, remains poorly understood. Here, we report genome-wide SNP data from eight of these populations located west-to-east of the equatorial rainforest. We find that hunter-gathering populations present up to 50% of farmer genomic ancestry, and that substantial admixture began only within the last 1,000 years. Furthermore, we show that the historical population sizes characterising these communities already differed before the introduction of agriculture. Our results suggest that the first socio-economic interactions between rainforest hunter-gatherers and farmers introduced by the spread of farming were not accompanied by immediate, extensive genetic exchanges and occurred on a backdrop of two groups already differentiated by their specialisation in two ecotopes with differing carrying capacities.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00010000496 Illumina HumanOmni1-Quad-Illumina GenomeStudio 260
Publications Citations
The impact of agricultural emergence on the genetic history of African rainforest hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists.
Nat Commun 5: 2014 3163
Adaptive, convergent origins of the pygmy phenotype in African rainforest hunter-gatherers.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111: 2014 E3596-603
The epigenomic landscape of African rainforest hunter-gatherers and farmers.
Nat Commun 6: 2015 10047
An epigenetic clock analysis of race/ethnicity, sex, and coronary heart disease.
Genome Biol 17: 2016 171
Natural selection contributed to immunological differences between hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists.
Nat Ecol Evol 3: 2019 1253-1264
Whole genomes from Angola and Mozambique inform about the origins and dispersals of major African migrations.
Nat Commun 14: 2023 7967