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Recent and compelling archaeological evidence attests to human presence ∼14.5 thousand years ago (Kya) at multiple sites in South America and a very early exploitation of extreme high-altitude Andean environments. Considering that, according to genetic evidence, human entry into North America from Beringia most likely occurred ∼16 Kya, these archeological findings would imply an extremely rapid spread along the double continent. To shed light on this issue from a genetic perspective, we first completely sequenced 217 novel modern mitogenomes of Native American ancestry from the northwestern area of South America (Ecuador and Peru); we then evaluated them phylogenetically together with other available mitogenomes (430 samples, both modern and ancient) from the same geographic area and, finally, with all closely related mitogenomes from the entire double continent. We detected a large number (N = 48) of novel sub-haplogroups, often branching into further sub-clades, belonging to two classes: those that arose in South America early after its peopling and those that instead originated in North or Central America and reached South America with the first settlers. Coalescence age estimates for these sub-haplogroups provide time boundaries indicating that early Paleo-Indians probably moved from North America to the area corresponding to modern Ecuador and Peru over the short time frame of ∼1.5 Ky comprised between 16.0 and 14.6 Kya.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Molecular biology and evolution
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The geographic area of Latin America in general and when the specific country or countries are not indicated. It usually includes Central America, South America, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean.
The general name for NORTH AMERICA; CENTRAL AMERICA; and SOUTH AMERICA unspecified or combined.
A republic in eastern Africa, south of ETHIOPIA, west of SOMALIA with TANZANIA to its south, and coastline on the Indian Ocean. Its capital is Nairobi.
A region of southern NORTH AMERICA extending from the southern border of MEXICO to the northern border of COLOMBIA. It separates the Caribbean Sea from the Pacific Ocean and is linked to SOUTH AMERICA by the Isthmus of Panama.
A genus of parasitic fleas in the family Pulicidae. They are found mainly in Africa, South America, and Central America.