News
28/1/2014

IBE: Blue eyed and dark skinned: this could be how European hunter/gatherers looked like 7,000 years ago

IBE: Blue eyed and dark skinned: this could be how European hunter/gatherers looked like 7,000 years ago


News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)


A complete genome of an individual at the Mesolithic site of the Braña-Arintero (León) has been recovered. The genome has been baptised as "La Braña 1" and represents the first genome of an European hunter/gatherer. The phenotype of this individual, with dark skin and blue eyes, no longer exists in Europe.

The research lead by IBE researchers from the Lalueza-Fox group in collaboration with other IBE groups and researchers from the Centre for GeoGenetics in Denmark has been published in Nature.

"The biggest surprise was to discover that this individual possessed African versions in the genes that make up the pigmentation of Europeans today, indicating he had dark skin, although we can not know the exact tone," says Lalueza-Fox. "Even more surprising was the discovery that he had the genetic variants that are responsible for blue eyes in Northern Europeans today," details the CSIC researcher, who is developing his work at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (joint center of CSIC and the Pompeu Fabra University ), located in Barcelona.

More information:
IBE news (in Spanish)
UPF news (in Catalan) 

Reference:
Iñigo Olalde, Morten E. Allentoft, Federico Sánchez‐Quinto, Gabriel Santpere, Charleston W. K. Chiang,Michael DeGiorgio, Javier Prado‐Martinez, Juan Antonio Rodríguez, Simon Rasmussen, Javier Quilez,Oscar Ramírez, Urko M. Marigorta, Marcos Fernández‐Callejo, María Encina Prada, Julio ManuelVidal Encinas, Rasmus Nielsen, Mihai G. Netea, John Novembre, Richard A. Sturm, Pardis Sabeti,Tomás Marqués‐Bonet, Arcadi Navarro, Eske Willerslev & Carles Lalueza‐Fox (2014), "Derived immune and ancestral pigmentation alleles in a 7,000‐year‐old Mesolithic European", Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12960.