Olalde, Inigo3; Allentoft, Morten E.4; Sanchez-Quinto, Federico3; Santpere, Gabriel3; Chiang, Charleston W. K.5; DeGiorgio, Michael6; Prado-Martinez, Javier3; Rodriguez, Juan Antonio3; Rasmussen, Simon1; Quilez, Javier3; Ramirez, Oscar3; Marigorta, Urko M.3; Fernandez-Callejo, Marcos3; Prada, Maria Encina7; Encinas, Julio Manuel Vidal8; Nielsen, Rasmus6; Netea, Mihai G.9; Novembre, John10; Sturm, Richard A.11; Sabeti, Pardis14; Marques-Bonet, Tomas13; Navarro, Arcadi13; Willerslev, Eske4; Lalueza-Fox, Carles3
1 Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark2 Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark3 Institut de Biologia Evolutiva4 University of Copenhagen5 University of California6 University of California at Berkeley7 I.E.S.O. 'Los Salados'8 Junta de Castilla y León9 Radboud Universiteit10 University of Chicago11 University of Queensland12 Harvard University13 Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies14 Harvard University
Ancient genomic sequences have started to reveal the origin and the demographic impact of farmers from the Neolithic period spreading into Europe(1-3). The adoption of farming, stock breeding and sedentary societies during the Neolithic may have resulted in adaptive changes in genes associated with immunity and diet(4). However, the limited data available from earlier hunter-gatherers preclude an understanding of the selective processes associated with this crucial transition to agriculture in recent human evolution. Here we sequence an approximately 7,000-year-old Mesolithic skeleton discovered at the La Brana-Arintero site in Leon, Spain, to retrieve a complete pre-agricultural European human genome. Analysis of this genome in the context of other ancient samples suggests the existence of a common ancient genomic signature across western and central Eurasia from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic. The La Brana individual carries ancestral alleles in several skin pigmentation genes, suggesting that the light skin of modern Europeans was not yet ubiquitous in Mesolithic times. Moreover, we provide evidence that a significant number of derived, putatively adaptive variants associated with pathogen resistance in modern Europeans were already present in this hunter-gatherer.