Denisovan DNA in Late Pleistocene sediments from Baishiya Karst Cave on the Tibetan Plateau

Dongju Zhang, Huan Xia, Fahu Chen, Bo Li, Viviane Slon, Ting Cheng, Ruowei Yang, Zenobia Jacobs, Qingyan Dai, Diyendo Massilani, Xuke Shen, Jian Wang, Xiaotian Feng, Peng Cao, Melinda A. Yang, Juanting Yao, Jishuai Yang, David B. Madsen, Yuanyuan Han, Wanjing PingFeng Liu, Charles Perreault, Xiaoshan Chen, Matthias Meyer, Janet Kelso, Svante Pääbo, Qiaomei Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A late Middle Pleistocene mandible from Baishiya Karst Cave (BKC) on the Tibetan Plateau has been inferred to be from a Denisovan, an Asian hominin related to Neanderthals, on the basis of an amino acid substitution in its collagen. Here we describe the stratigraphy, chronology, and mitochondrial DNA extracted from the sediments in BKC. We recover Denisovan mitochondrial DNA from sediments deposited ~100 thousand and ~60 thousand years ago (ka) and possibly as recently as ~45 ka. The long-term occupation of BKC by Denisovans suggests that they may have adapted to life at high altitudes and may have contributed such adaptations to modern humans on the Tibetan Plateau.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-587
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume370
Issue number6516
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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