The evolution of human populations

A molecular respective

Francisco J. Ayala, Ananias A. Escalante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human evolution exhibits repeated speciations and. conspicuous morphological change: from Australopithecus to Homo habilis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens; and from their hominoid ancestor to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Theories of founder-event speciation propose that speciation often occurs as a consequence of population bottlenecks, down to one or very few individual pairs. Proponents of punctuated equilibrium claim in addition that founder-event speciation results in rapid morphological change. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consists of several very polymorphic gene loci. The genealogy of 19 human alleles of the DQB1 locus coalesces more than 30 million years ago, before the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Many human alleles are more closely related to pongid and cercopithecoid alleles than to other human alleles. Using the theory of gene coalescence, we estimate that these polymorphisms require human populations of the order of N = 100,000 individuals for the last several million years. This conclusion is confirmed by computer simulations showing the rate of decay of the polymorphisms over time. Computer simulations indicate, in addition, that in human evolution no bottlenecks have occurred with fewer than several thousand individuals. We evaluate studies of mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and microsatellite autosomal polymorphisms and conclude that they are consistent with the MHC result that no narrow population bottlenecks have occurred in human evolution. The available molecular information favors a recent African origin of modern humans, who spread out of Africa approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

human evolution
human population
allele
major histocompatibility complex
population bottleneck
polymorphism
computer simulation
Population
punctuated equilibrium
alleles
Alleles
genealogy
gene
genetic polymorphism
coalescence
Hominidae
ancestry
Major Histocompatibility Complex
chromosome
Computer Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

The evolution of human populations : A molecular respective. / Ayala, Francisco J.; Escalante, Ananias A.

In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 5, No. 1, 02.1996, p. 188-201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ayala, Francisco J. ; Escalante, Ananias A. / The evolution of human populations : A molecular respective. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 1996 ; Vol. 5, No. 1. pp. 188-201.
@article{07f95c5e8f104ee59605a69836b4dbe1,
title = "The evolution of human populations: A molecular respective",
abstract = "Human evolution exhibits repeated speciations and. conspicuous morphological change: from Australopithecus to Homo habilis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens; and from their hominoid ancestor to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Theories of founder-event speciation propose that speciation often occurs as a consequence of population bottlenecks, down to one or very few individual pairs. Proponents of punctuated equilibrium claim in addition that founder-event speciation results in rapid morphological change. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consists of several very polymorphic gene loci. The genealogy of 19 human alleles of the DQB1 locus coalesces more than 30 million years ago, before the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Many human alleles are more closely related to pongid and cercopithecoid alleles than to other human alleles. Using the theory of gene coalescence, we estimate that these polymorphisms require human populations of the order of N = 100,000 individuals for the last several million years. This conclusion is confirmed by computer simulations showing the rate of decay of the polymorphisms over time. Computer simulations indicate, in addition, that in human evolution no bottlenecks have occurred with fewer than several thousand individuals. We evaluate studies of mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and microsatellite autosomal polymorphisms and conclude that they are consistent with the MHC result that no narrow population bottlenecks have occurred in human evolution. The available molecular information favors a recent African origin of modern humans, who spread out of Africa approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.",
author = "Ayala, {Francisco J.} and Escalante, {Ananias A.}",
year = "1996",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1006/mpev.1996.0013",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "5",
pages = "188--201",
journal = "Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution",
issn = "1055-7903",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The evolution of human populations

T2 - A molecular respective

AU - Ayala, Francisco J.

AU - Escalante, Ananias A.

PY - 1996/2

Y1 - 1996/2

N2 - Human evolution exhibits repeated speciations and. conspicuous morphological change: from Australopithecus to Homo habilis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens; and from their hominoid ancestor to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Theories of founder-event speciation propose that speciation often occurs as a consequence of population bottlenecks, down to one or very few individual pairs. Proponents of punctuated equilibrium claim in addition that founder-event speciation results in rapid morphological change. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consists of several very polymorphic gene loci. The genealogy of 19 human alleles of the DQB1 locus coalesces more than 30 million years ago, before the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Many human alleles are more closely related to pongid and cercopithecoid alleles than to other human alleles. Using the theory of gene coalescence, we estimate that these polymorphisms require human populations of the order of N = 100,000 individuals for the last several million years. This conclusion is confirmed by computer simulations showing the rate of decay of the polymorphisms over time. Computer simulations indicate, in addition, that in human evolution no bottlenecks have occurred with fewer than several thousand individuals. We evaluate studies of mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and microsatellite autosomal polymorphisms and conclude that they are consistent with the MHC result that no narrow population bottlenecks have occurred in human evolution. The available molecular information favors a recent African origin of modern humans, who spread out of Africa approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

AB - Human evolution exhibits repeated speciations and. conspicuous morphological change: from Australopithecus to Homo habilis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens; and from their hominoid ancestor to orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Theories of founder-event speciation propose that speciation often occurs as a consequence of population bottlenecks, down to one or very few individual pairs. Proponents of punctuated equilibrium claim in addition that founder-event speciation results in rapid morphological change. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) consists of several very polymorphic gene loci. The genealogy of 19 human alleles of the DQB1 locus coalesces more than 30 million years ago, before the divergence of apes and Old World monkeys. Many human alleles are more closely related to pongid and cercopithecoid alleles than to other human alleles. Using the theory of gene coalescence, we estimate that these polymorphisms require human populations of the order of N = 100,000 individuals for the last several million years. This conclusion is confirmed by computer simulations showing the rate of decay of the polymorphisms over time. Computer simulations indicate, in addition, that in human evolution no bottlenecks have occurred with fewer than several thousand individuals. We evaluate studies of mtDNA, Y-chromosome, and microsatellite autosomal polymorphisms and conclude that they are consistent with the MHC result that no narrow population bottlenecks have occurred in human evolution. The available molecular information favors a recent African origin of modern humans, who spread out of Africa approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030077045&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030077045&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/mpev.1996.0013

DO - 10.1006/mpev.1996.0013

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 188

EP - 201

JO - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

JF - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

SN - 1055-7903

IS - 1

ER -