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Philippine Ayta possess the highest level of Denisovan ancestry in the world

Multiple lines of evidence show that modern humans interbred with archaic Denisovans. Here, we report an account of shared demographic history between Australasians and Denisovans distinctively in Island Southeast Asia. Our analyses are based on ~2.3 million genotypes from 118 ethnic groups of the Philippines including 25 diverse self-identified Negrito populations, along with high-coverage genomes of AustraloPapuans and Ayta Magbukon Negritos. We show that Ayta Magbukon possess the highest level of Denisovan ancestry in the world – ~30-40% greater than that of Australians and Papuans – consistent with an independent admixture event into Negritos from Denisovans. Together with the recently described Homo luzonensis, we suggest that there were multiple archaic species that inhabited the Philippines prior to the arrival of modern humans, and that these archaic groups may have been genetically related. Altogether, our findings unveil a complex intertwined history of modern and archaic humans in the Asia-Pacific region, where distinct Islander Denisovan populations differentially admixed with incoming Australasians across multiple locations and at various points in time.

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
EGAD00010002213 Illumina 96
Publications Citations
Philippine Ayta possess the highest level of Denisovan ancestry in the world.
Curr Biol 31: 2021 4219-4230.e10
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