ABO Genetic Variation in Neanderthals and Denisovans Journal Article uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • Abstract; Variation at the ABO locus was one of the earliest sources of data in the study of human population identity and history, and to this day remains widely genotyped due to its importance in blood and tissue transfusions. Here, we look at ABO blood type variants in our archaic relatives: Neanderthals and Denisovans. Our goal is to understand the genetic landscape of the ABO gene in archaic humans, and how it relates to modern human ABO variation. We found two Neanderthal variants of the O allele in the Siberian Neanderthals (O1 and O2), one of these variants is shared with an European Neanderthal, who is a heterozygote for this O1 variant and a rare cis-AB variant. The Denisovan individual is heterozygous for two variants of the O1 allele, functionally similar to variants found widely in modern humans. Perhaps more surprisingly, the O2 allele variant found in Siberian Neanderthals can be found at low frequencies in modern Europeans and Southeast Asians, and the O1 allele variant found in Siberian and European Neanderthal is also found at very low frequency in modern East Asians. Our genetic distance analyses suggest both alleles survive in modern humans due to inbreeding with Neanderthals. We find that the sequence backgrounds of the surviving Neanderthal-like O alleles in modern humans retain a higher sequence divergence than other surviving Neanderthal genome fragments, supporting a view of balancing selection operating in the Neanderthal ABO alleles by retaining highly diverse haplotypes compared with portions of the genome evolving neutrally.

publication date

  • July 29, 2021

Date in CU Experts

  • January 25, 2022 4:08 AM

Full Author List

  • Villanea FA; Huerta-Sanchez E; Fox K

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-1719

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 3373

end page

  • 3382

volume

  • 38

issue

  • 8