March 20, 2016
Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Melanesians
Admixture models are out of control these days, with 4 inferred archaic introgressions into three groups of Eurasians (Europeans, East Asians, Melanesians). The model on the left has to be a simplification/incomplete/wrong in some way (Melanesians are not an outgroup to Europeans and East Asians; Europeans have "Basal Eurasian" ancestry via Early European Farmers; Denisovans have some kind of weird archaic ancestry that Neandertals don't, and according to a recent study, the Altai Neandertal also has some kind of weird Proto-Modern Human lineage). In any case, this may not matter much for the problem at hand which is excavating archaic DNA from Melanesian genomes.
But, if you combined all the admixtures inferred in the literature, you'd probably need something like 8 admixtures to model 5 populations. Time and data will show which of them are real, and reveal news ones (e.g., in Africans, who remain blissfully simple in the absence of archaic African genomes).
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9416
Excavating Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from the genomes of Melanesian individuals
Benjamin Vernot et al.
Although Neandertal sequences that persist in the genomes of modern humans have been identified in Eurasians, comparable studies in people whose ancestors hybridized with both Neandertals and Denisovans are lacking. We developed an approach to identify DNA inherited from multiple archaic hominin ancestors and applied it to whole-genome sequences from 1523 geographically diverse individuals, including 35 new Island Melanesian genomes. In aggregate, we recovered 1.34 Gb and 303 Mb of the Neandertal and Denisovan genome, respectively. We leverage these maps of archaic sequence to show that Neandertal admixture occurred multiple times in different non-African populations, characterize genomic regions that are significantly depleted of archaic sequence, and identify signatures of adaptive introgression.