Origins and genetic legacies of the Caribbean Taino

Hannes Schroeder*, Martin Sikora, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Lara M. Cassidy, Pierpaolo Maisano Delser, Marcela Sandoval Velasco, Joshua G. Schraiber, Simon Rasmussen, Julian R. Homburger, María C. Ávila-Arcos, Morten E. Allentoft, J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar, Gabriel Renaud, Alberto Gómez-Carballa, Jason E. Laffoon, Rachel J.A. Hopkins, Thomas F.G. Higham, Robert S. Carr, William C. Schaffer, Jane S. DayMenno Hoogland, Antonio Salas, Carlos D. Bustamante, Rasmus Nielsen, Daniel G. Bradley, Corinne L. Hofman, Eske Willerslev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The Caribbean was one of the last parts of the Americas to be settled by humans, but how and when the islands were first occupied remains a matter of debate. Ancient DNA can help answering these questions, but the work has been hampered by poor DNA preservation. We report the genome sequence of a 1,000-year-old Lucayan Taino individual recovered from the site of Preacher’s Cave in the Bahamas. We sequenced her genome to 12.4-fold coverage and show that she is genetically most closely related to present-day Arawakan speakers from northern South America, suggesting that the ancestors of the Lucayans originated there. Further, we find no evidence for recent inbreeding or isolation in the ancient genome, suggesting that the Lucayans had a relatively large effective population size. Finally, we show that the native American components in some present-day Caribbean genomes are closely related to the ancient Taino, demonstrating an element of continuity between precontact populations and present-day Latino populations in the Caribbean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2341-2346
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number10
Early online date20 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Ancestry
  • Ancient DNA
  • Archaeology
  • Migration
  • Paleogenomics

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