Digging Ancient Haplotypes out of Modern Human Genomes

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Luca Pagani, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
University of Padova

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A growing body of human ancient DNA evidence is being used to build increasingly more realistic models of demographic changes in the last few thousand years. However, due to low coverage and low sample size, in most cases ancient DNA is inherently limited in providing phased haplotypes and accurate population-level allele frequency estimates.

Here we propose to consider modern genomes as being arranged together from pieces of a jigsaw of ancient haplotypes that recombined and admixed in the last few thousand years. Following what has already been attempted for recently admixed populations, one can use local ancestry methods to extract these genomic regions and study them separately. The benefit of this approach stems from our ability to make use of existing high-quality whole genomes, which can be deconvoluted to identify the genetic makeup of the ancient populations that admixed to form contemporary human groups.

Host: Joe Lachance, Ph.D.


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