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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC genomics
Title Human settlement history between Sunda and Sahul: a focus on East Timor (Timor-Leste) and the Pleistocenic mtDNA diversity
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12864-014-1201-x
Distinct, partly competing, “waves” have been proposed to explain human migration in(to) today’s Island Southeast Asia and Australia based on genetic (and other) evidence. The paucity of high quality and high resolution data has impeded insights so far. In this study, one of the first in a forensic environment, we used the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) for generating complete mitogenome sequences via stand-alone massively parallel sequencing and describe a standard data validation practice.

In this first representative investigation on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation of East Timor (Timor-Leste) population including >300 individuals, we put special emphasis on the reconstruction of the initial settlement, in particular on the previously poorly resolved haplogroup P1, an indigenous lineage of the Southwest Pacific region. Our results suggest a colonization of southern Sahul (Australia) >37 kya, limited subsequent exchange, and a parallel incubation of initial settlers in northern Sahul (New Guinea) followed by westward migrations <28 kya.

The temporal proximity and possible coincidence of these latter dispersals, which encompassed autochthonous haplogroups, with the postulated “later” events of (South) East Asian origin pinpoints a highly dynamic migratory phase.

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