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Thread: Brown-skinned, blue-eyed, Y-haplogroup C-bearing European hunter-gatherer from Spain

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    Brown-skinned, blue-eyed, Y-haplogroup C-bearing European hunter-gatherer from Spain


    There is nothing like a little ancient DNA weirdness to start off 2014, which promises to be as exciting as 2013 was.

    The new study La Brana 1 identifies it as ancestral in the SLC24A5 locus in which virtually all Europeans are derived. This comes in the heels of the Loschbour preprint which identified that sample from Luxembourg as also being ancestral. Taken together, it's now clear that hunter-gatherers from Mesolithic Western Europe were brown.

    Curiously, it now seems that both Europe and India were (in part) inhabited by brown people and became lighter by a process of admixture + selection. The process went "all the way" in Europe, but a cline of pigmentation was sustained in India.

    The other finding (not mentioned in the abstract) is that La Brana 1 belonged to Y-haplogroup C6! This is a low-frequency European clade of haplogroup C. So now, we have evidence that haplogroup C is not eastern Eurasian (as the presence of its subclades in Australia, India, East Asia, and the Americas might suggest), but a pan-Eurasian entity. It remains to be seen whether this C-in-Europe can be pushed further back in time, but finding it in Mesolithic Iberia reduces the chance that it's some random eastern Eurasian who made it to the outskirts of Europe recently.

    Finally, La Brana 1 has derived alleles at loci associated with pathogen resistance. This might be important, because a common hypothesis is that Europeans developed this type of resistance during the Neolithic as they started interacting with the pathogens of domesticated species and started living in less-hygienic higher-density settlements.


    Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature12960

    Derived immune and ancestral pigmentation alleles in a 7,000-year-old Mesolithic European

    Iñigo Olalde et al.

    Ancient genomic sequences have started to reveal the origin and the demographic impact of farmers from the Neolithic period spreading into Europe1, 2, 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 diet4. 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 Braña-Arintero site in León, 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 Braña 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.
    http://dienekes.blogspot.de/2014/01/...logroup-c.html

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...ture12960.html

    If a Y-Haplogroup which is today most common in Asia/East Asia and which was generally associated with East Asian like physical features, shows up in an ancient European H&G, what does this say about the look of the original y haplogroup C carriers. Most scientists place the origin of C in the Middle East, to be more specific in Southeast Iran. Isn't this another indication for a "Gedrosia" origin of Hunters and Gatherers?
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...-Migration.jpg
    Considering the Caucasian facial features of this mesolithic H&G it makes more sense now.

    Also what does this say about Scythian samples from Central Asia which showed some individual cases of C and was associated with East Asian admixture? What if the Scythian brought this Haplogroup to East Asia?
    Last edited by Alan; 29-01-14 at 16:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Isn't this another indication for a "Gedrosia" origin of Hunters and Gatherers?
    But there was no elevated "Gedrosia" detected in any mesolithic and neolithic samples (Pitted Ware Sweden, Ötzi, Motala, Loschbourg,...) so far in contrast to contemporary West Europe. I think "Gedrosia" applies only to paleolithic central or west asian hunter-gatherers whose descendant came later to europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    But there was no elevated "Gedrosia" detected in any mesolithic and neolithic samples (Pitted Ware Sweden, Ötzi, Motala, Loschbourg,...) so far in contrast to contemporary West Europe. I think "Gedrosia" applies only to paleolithic central or west asian hunter-gatherers whose descendant came later to europe.
    THis is because "Gedrosia" or North European doesn't exist as ancient component but are part of a much older component known as ANE and WHG. And Gedrosia, like North European originated from this populations. I think Gedrosia (Balochistan) and Kalash is where this component ultimately started and expanded to the rest of the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    THis is because "Gedrosia" or North European doesn't exist as ancient component but are part of a much older component known as ANE and WHG. And Gedrosia, like North European originated from this populations. I think Gedrosia (Balochistan) and Kalash is where this component ultimately started and expanded to the rest of the world.
    I agree, just wanted to prevent confusion with the exceeding "Gedrosia" admixture in the post-neolithic population of europe, which must have come later in addition.

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    Nordicpourer which thread would that be? I couldn't find any. Could you please provide a link to this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Nordicpourer which thread would that be? I couldn't find any. Could you please provide a link to this thread.
    Guess the Y-haplogroup(s) of Mesolithic Iberians (Braña 1 & 2). We actually had one of the researchers leak Braña 1's C-V20 haplogroup on that thread about a week before it was officially released.

    That said, C is such an old haplogroup, that it's not very useful to just talk of it as "C." It's better to talk about "C-V20" which probably branched from its most recent C relative, Japanese C-M8, over 40k years ago (going by Zhong 2010's divergence estimate of C-M8). And so far, C-V20 is exclusively European, so it's hard to say much about how it got into Europe. But even on that topic, bicicleur started another thread here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    .............
    Isn't this another indication for a "Gedrosia" origin of Hunters and Gatherers?
    ...........
    When you say "Hunters and Gatherers", I assume you're thinking of folks like the Dene of northern Canada? Because Mesolithic La Brana Man was related to Paleolithic Mal'ta Boy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    There's an existing thread on Eupedia that covers most of this material already, it may be worth checking through that one.

    As I mentioned on it, we now know of at least seven alleles that contribute to less pigmented skin color. La Brana had three of the seven, and two of these alleles were copied on both sides (from each parent). For a modern reference point, I would place his tone somewhere in the Native American range.
    The problem with that argument is SLC24A5 is almost fixed in Europeans so to know what a gene combination of ASIP/TYRP1/IRF4 looked like on their own you'd need someone who had that combination. There would have been a lot of people like that in Britain or Ireland once and if they were brown with blue eyes i think someone would have mentioned it. I think the La Brana combination creates pale skin with a lot of freckles something like this.

    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/23...9768578969.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer View Post
    The problem with that argument is SLC24A5 is almost fixed in Europeans so to know what a gene combination of ASIP/TYRP1/IRF4 looked like on their own you'd need someone who had that combination. There would have been a lot of people like that in Britain or Ireland once and if they were brown with blue eyes i think someone would have mentioned it. I think the La Brana combination creates pale skin with a lot of freckles something like this.

    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/23...9768578969.jpg
    Very scary guy, lol. I wonder what sexual selection was doing at that time?

    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Very scary guy, lol. I wonder what sexual selection was doing at that time?

    Should I be honest. Le Brock I never was a huge fan of that "sexual selection" argument. When I look at poorer countries and people, I never see a sexual selection for certain traits but money and wealth in general.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Very scary guy, lol. I wonder what sexual selection was doing at that time?

    I don't know about sexual selection but if you had brown-skinned people coming out of the sub-tropics into higher latitudes and needed a quick way to get more UV (but not too much) then something like this, literally half-white and half-brown, would do the trick - and IRF4 (which La Brana has) is associated with dark hair, light eyes and freckles.

    And that dark hair, light eyes, pale skin with freckles look (like the red haired version) is most prevalent in the places that got SLC24A5 last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer View Post
    I don't know about sexual selection but if you had brown-skinned people coming out of the sub-tropics into higher latitudes and needed a quick way to get more UV (but not too much) then something like this, literally half-white and half-brown, would do the trick - and IRF4 (which La Brana has) is associated with dark hair, light eyes and freckles.

    And that dark hair, light eyes, pale skin with freckles look (like the red haired version) is most prevalent in the places that got SLC24A5 last.
    Well, there is a logic in this, we'll see with more research.

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    Now that we know that Europeans were brown at 5000 BC, it becomes more and more likely that white skin spread in Western Europe from the Balkans with the parent clade R1b-L23 and farming technology, sometime after 4000 BC. Once the farmers hit the lowlands of Western Europe, there was a population boom (all the R1b subclades of L23 were born between 4000 BC and 1000 BC) and the mutation spread. Evolution based on weather and sunlight did the rest to create all the skin shades in Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamani View Post
    Now that we know that Europeans were brown at 5000 BC, it becomes more and more likely that white skin spread in Western Europe from the Balkans with the parent clade R1b-L23 and farming technology, sometime after 4000 BC. Once the farmers hit the lowlands of Western Europe, there was a population boom (all the R1b subclades of L23 were born between 4000 BC and 1000 BC) and the mutation spread. Evolution based on weather and sunlight did the rest to create all the skin shades in Europe.
    IRF4

    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Re...ckles_999.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer View Post
    The finding places IRF4 among more than 30 genes now associated with pigmentation,
    Wow, quite a few I might say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer View Post
    That's fine. This explains that people with pale skin have freckles so that they can have Melanin pigment to protect from UV radiation in sunlight. But it does not explain how they got the pale skin in the first place (which is my explanation on previous post).

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    **EDIT**
    A more likely scenerio on both SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 is that initially these mutations would have brought numerous health complications to carriers. The colder climate allowed for them to survive, but if we look at current individuals that exhibit full albanism they have difficulties throughout life.
    ...
    That's because you see only a problem and not full statistical reality. If we only have find handful individuals with these mutations, like hg C6 today, you could say they are surviving. When we have few millions of these individuals with skin mutation, then it looks more like a beneficial trait, and not a genetic surviving mistake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    Oh I think it was amazingly beneficial. It was useful for sexual selective purposes, not surviving in the wild.

    **EDIT**
    Let's go back in time.

    This might make more sense if we look at from the ancients point of view. You are a member of a SLC positive clan... you've been ousted from your homeland because your tribe simply looks "different". Forced to head westward, you bring your cultural mores and technology (and maybe most importantly trinkets).

    You encounter new populations that view your tribe's skin color in a new light (probably because of the advanced technologies and trinkets that you had in tow).

    Is any of this sounding familiar? Like Cortez in South America familiar?
    Yes, it explains how one individual survived and had a chance to make kids.
    But how does this explain the success of this trait 100 generations later?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    The answer may be staring you in the face... take a spare fifteen minutes and read through a few of the Iberian vs. Italian skin color debates. Or the Gheg debates that take place a few degrees of longitude over. Sexual selection with regards to pigmental phenotype is real, whether entrenched on the male side or generated from the female side. Is it foolish? Maybe, probably, but it is there.
    Should I remind you that your original comment started with this picture.

    Find us women who are attracted to this look and I can agree that sexual selection was in place here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamani View Post
    That's fine. This explains that people with pale skin have freckles so that they can have Melanin pigment to protect from UV radiation in sunlight. But it does not explain how they got the pale skin in the first place (which is my explanation on previous post).
    It doesn't? Has anyone checked or is it an assumption? I think there will be people alive in the north/northwest of Europe who have MC1R or IRF4 **without** the SLC genes and I bet they're half white and half brown, i.e. freckled.

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    I didn't want to say anything, for fear of offending some reader who is similarly afflicted, but I have to say that I think the unfortunate young man would be chosen last.

    Even if someone were partial to freckles, I think this might be too much...


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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    There's an existing thread on Eupedia that covers most of this material already, it may be worth checking through that one.

    As I mentioned on it, we now know of at least seven alleles that contribute to less pigmented skin color. La Brana had three of the seven, and two of these alleles were copied on both sides (from each parent). For a modern reference point, I would place his tone somewhere in the Native American range.
    Have you some references for this affirmation (less pigmented skin genes several mutations)? Because it confirms some intuition of mine
    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    There's an existing thread on Eupedia that covers most of this material already, it may be worth checking through that one.

    As I mentioned on it, we now know of at least seven alleles that contribute to less pigmented skin color. La Brana had three of the seven, and two of these alleles were copied on both sides (from each parent). For a modern reference point, I would place his tone somewhere in the Native American range.
    have you some references about these 7 mutations? because it confirms some bets of mine - thanks for giving the link -

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    Quote Originally Posted by nordicpourer View Post
    I'm confused. My initial comment on this thread addressed the fact that it was basically a duplicate topic.

    Nevertheless, here's a few additional quips....

    1. I've never seen an actual person look like this poor fellow (other than this photo). Strangely enough, the individual with the heaviest amount of freckling I've ever encountered in real life (and he had but a small fraction of freckles compared to our afflicated subject) was 100% Irish. Go figure.

    2. We may not be defining sexual selection in the same way... let's use a hypothetical case. It's 1,100 years ago and we're sitting on the banks of the Volga. A Swedish Viking party drifts by and we watch as they are busy dividing their recently captured female slaves from a raiding party into "keepers" (ie. breeding partners) and ones that will be taken to market in Constantinople. We notice an obvious trend in their decision making...

    What if these Vikings keep all the blonde haired, blue-eyed buxom women for themselves and trade the darker, brunette females for silver... is this sexual selection? I would think so. Before you dismiss this scenerio as farcical... please review the Norse tales of Rig.

    Of course this Viking raiding party would have taken place a few thousand years AFTER my proposed SLC positive group first arrived in what we now call Europe. The selective actions of this hypothetical Viking construct would only further accent the pigmentation differences we see in Northern climes (or rather lack of pigmentation we see in the North).
    "I've never seen an actual person look like this poor fellow (other than this photo)."

    I have - a dozen or so over the years, all in remote parts of Britain and Ireland.

    "Strangely enough, the individual with the heaviest amount of freckling I've ever encountered in real life (and he had but a small fraction of freckles compared to our afflicated subject) was 100% Irish. Go figure."

    Not strange at all. Northwest Europe: Ireland, Scotland, Norway - furthest away from the farmers and SLC24A5. Exactly where you'd expect to see the last survivors of the original Euro phenotype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greying Wanderer
    Not strange at all. Northwest Europe: Ireland, Scotland, Norway - furthest away from the farmers and SLC24A5. Exactly where you'd expect to see the last survivors of the original Euro phenotype.
    Unlikely, because genetic evidence tells us otherwise. Northwest Europe was too poor for both hunter-gatherers and farmers. Only bronze-age metal workers knew what to do there. The last paleolithic survivors dwelled in the northern forests and most of them speak finno-ugric today.
    Last edited by ElHorsto; 01-02-14 at 17:50. Reason: obsolete

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