SHANGHAI, March 24 (Xinhua) -- An international research team has conducted whole-genome sequencing of 180 individuals from 12 indigenous African populations, revealing the early genetic structure and complex evolution of African populations.
Researchers from Fudan University and University of Pennsylvania conducted the research and published the results in the journal Cell.
African populations have the highest genetic and phenotypic diversity in the world. However, less than 3 percent of the samples in current genetics and genomics studies come from Africa, according to the study.
Studying the genetic diversity of the African population is not only of great significance for understanding the origin of modern human beings, but also provides an important reference for the diagnosis of genetic diseases and precise medical treatment.
Analysis of the 12 African populations in the study, as well as other populations in the world, showed that the ancestors of the southern African San and central African rainforest hunter-gatherers diverged from other populations about 280,000 years ago, which was the first such instance in modern human evolution.
The research team also drew a comprehensive map of adaptive evolution of African populations by studying the specific adaptive evolution of the 12 populations. ■