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  The genetic legacy of the expansion of Bantu-speaking peoples in Africa

Fortes-Lima, C. A., Burgarella, C., Hammarén, R., Eriksson, A., Vicente, M., Jolly, C., et al. (2024). The genetic legacy of the expansion of Bantu-speaking peoples in Africa. Nature, 625, 540-547. doi:10.1038/s41586-023-06770-6.

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 Creators:
Fortes-Lima, Cesar A., Author
Burgarella, Concetta, Author
Hammarén, Rickard, Author
Eriksson, Anders, Author
Vicente, Mário, Author
Jolly, Cecile, Author
Semo, Armando, Author
Gunnink, Hilde, Author
Pacchiarotti, Sara, Author
Mundeke, Leon, Author
Matonda, Igor, Author
Muluwa, Joseph Koni, Author
Coutros, Peter, Author
Nyambe, Terry S., Author
Cikomola, Justin Cirhuza, Author
Coetzee, Vinet, Author
de Castro, Minique, Author
Ebbesen, Peter, Author
Delanghe, Joris, Author
Stoneking, Mark1, Author                 
Barham, Lawrence, AuthorLombard, Marlize, AuthorMeyer, Anja, AuthorSteyn, Maryna, AuthorMalmström, Helena, AuthorRocha, Jorge, AuthorSoodyall, Himla, AuthorPakendorf, Brigitte, AuthorBostoen, Koen, AuthorSchlebusch, Carina M., Author more..
Affiliations:
1Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_1497672              

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 Abstract: The expansion of people speaking Bantu languages is the most dramatic demographic event in Late Holocene Africa and fundamentally reshaped the linguistic, cultural and biological landscape of the continent1,2,3,4,5,6,7. With a comprehensive genomic dataset, including newly generated data of modern-day and ancient DNA from previously unsampled regions in Africa, we contribute insights into this expansion that started 6,000–4,000 years ago in western Africa. We genotyped 1,763 participants, including 1,526 Bantu speakers from 147 populations across 14 African countries, and generated whole-genome sequences from 12 Late Iron Age individuals8. We show that genetic diversity amongst Bantu-speaking populations declines with distance from western Africa, with current-day Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as possible crossroads of interaction. Using spatially explicit methods9 and correlating genetic, linguistic and geographical data, we provide cross-disciplinary support for a serial-founder migration model. We further show that Bantu speakers received significant gene flow from local groups in regions they expanded into. Our genetic dataset provides an exhaustive modern-day African comparative dataset for ancient DNA studies10 and will be important to a wide range of disciplines from science and humanities, as well as to the medical sector studying human genetic variation and health in African and African-descendant populations.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2023-11-292024
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06770-6
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Title: Nature
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Nature Research
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 625 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 540 - 547 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-0836
ISSN: 1476-4687