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Date of Award

5-6-2021

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Melinda A. Yang

Abstract

Human genetic continuity is the idea of present day populations deriving from a population of ancient humans. From examining the genetic relationship between ancient and modern individuals, we can make inferences about what may have happened in interactions between past populations to give rise to our genetic makeup today. In this project, we use genomic data provided by the 1000 Genomes project and 9,500-300-year-old East Asians to determine the possibility of continuity between ancient and present-day East Asian populations. In our continuity tests, while we expected to see continuity between present-day and ancient southern East Asians and between present-day and ancient northern East Asians, we did not observe any continuity. However, comparisons of sample age and latitude to branch lengths gave insight towards relationships between present-day and ancient populations. We confirmed that the central European present-day population, selected as an outgroup, showed deeply divergent ancestry with East Asians. We further found that younger ancient East Asians were more closely related to present-day East Asian populations than older ancient East Asians. While genetic continuity was not observed based on geography, northern and southern East Asians show different branch lengths reflective of closer genetic relationships to present-day populations from a similar geography. This was more true for the southern East Asians than it was for northern East Asians. Overall, genetic relationships found for ancient East Asians were reflected in the continuity analysis.

Available for download on Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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