Targeted retrieval and analysis of five neandertal mtDNA genomes

Adrian W. Briggs, Jeffrey M. Good, Richard E. Green, Johannes Krause, Tomislav Maricic, Udo Stenzel, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Pavao Rudan, Dejana Brajković, Zeljko Kućan, Ivan Gušić, Ralf Schmitz, Vladimir B. Doronichev, Liubov V. Golovanova, Marco De La Rasilla, Javier Fortea, Antonio Rosas, Svante Pääbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

385 Scopus citations


Analysis of Neandertal DNA holds great potential for investigating the population history of this group of hominins, but progress has been limited due to the rarity of samples and damaged state of the DNA. We present a method of targeted ancient DNA sequence retrieval that greatly reduces sample destruction and sequencing demands and use this method to reconstruct the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes of five Neandertals from across their geographic range. We find that mtDNA genetic diversity in Neandertals that lived 38,000 to 70,000 years ago was approximately one-third of that in contemporary modern humans. Together with analyses of mtDNA protein evolution, these data suggest that the long-term effective population size of Neandertals was smaller than that of modern humans and extant great apes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-321
Number of pages4
Issue number5938
StatePublished - Jul 17 2009


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