Impact factor'2009=1.324


Journal of Applied Genetics 42(4), 2001, pp. 509-530

Modern human origins and prehistoric demography of Europe in light of the present-day genetic diversity


Abstract: Dynamic advance in DNA sequencing methods and progress in formal population genetics analyses made it possible to infer aspects of human evolution from the DNA diversity distribution and frequency in contemporary populations. While providing some general background concerning the origins of modern human, this paper focuses on the dynamics of prehistoric population in Europe. The relevance of the present-day genetic diversity studies in elucidating prehistoric events is presented in the context of archeological and paleoanthropological evidence. The questions of the Neanderthal admixture as well as of the relative contribution of different waves of prehistoric migrations to the gene pool of modern Europeans are discussed.

Key words: demographic expansion, European migrations, frequency distribution, human evolution, Neanderthal, phylogeography, population diversity.

Correspondence: E. ZIETKIEWICZ, Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Strzeszynska 32, 60-479 Poznan, Poland.