Publications by authors named "Elizabeth A Matisoo-Smith"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Ancient and modern mitogenomes from Central Argentina: new insights into population continuity, temporal depth and migration in South America.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades, Departamento de Antropología, Córdoba, Argentina.

The inverted triangle shape of South America places Argentina territory as a geographical crossroads between the two principal peopling streams that followed either the Pacific or the Atlantic coasts, which could have then merged in Central Argentina. Although the genetic diversity from this region is therefore crucial to decipher past population movements in South America, its characterization has been overlooked so far. We report 92 modern and 22 ancient mitogenomes spanning a temporal range of 5000 years, which were compared to a large set of previously reported data. Leveraging this dataset representative of the mitochondrial diversity of the subcontinent, we investigate the maternal history of Central Argentina populations within a wider geographical context. We describe a large number of novel clades within the mitochondrial DNA tree, thus providing new phylogenetic interpretations for South America. We also identify several local clades of great temporal depth with continuity until present that stem directly from the founder haplotypes, suggesting that they originated in the region and expanded from there. Moreover, the presence of lineages characteristic of other South American regions reveals the existence of gene flow to Central Argentina. Finally, we report some lineages with discontinuous distribution across the Americas, which suggest the persistence of relic lineages likely linked to the first population arrivals. The present study represents to date the most exhaustive attempt to elaborate a Native American genetic map from modern and ancient complete mitochondrial genomes in Argentina and provides relevant information about the general process of settlement in South America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab105DOI Listing
April 2021

The evolutionary history and human settlement of Australia and the Pacific.

Curr Opin Genet Dev 2018 12 18;53:53-59. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Electronic address:

Understanding the timing and processes involved in the human settlement of Australia and the Pacific has significance for addressing some key debates relating to human origins and population expansions worldwide. Despite this, for many years, Pacific populations were seriously under-represented in genetic studies of human origins. The last 15 years, however, have seen some major genetic studies involving Australian and Pacific populations which have shed light on their origins and interactions, and the last five years have seen some major developments that are challenging long-held concepts of Pacific settlement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2018.06.015DOI Listing
December 2018

Mitochondrial genetic variation and gout in Māori and Pacific people living in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ann Rheum Dis 2018 04 15;77(4):571-578. Epub 2017 Dec 15.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Objective: Mitochondria have an important role in the induction of the NLRP3 inflammasome response central in gout. The objective was to test whether mitochondrial genetic variation and copy number in New Zealand Māori and Pacific (Polynesian) people in Aotearoa New Zealand associate with susceptibility to gout.

Methods: 437 whole mitochondrial genomes from Māori and Pacific people (predominantly men) from Aotearoa New Zealand (327 people with gout, 110 without gout) were sequenced. Mitochondrial DNA copy number variation was determined by assessing relative read depth using data produced from whole genome sequencing (32 cases, 43 controls) and targeted resequencing of urate loci (151 cases, 222 controls). Quantitative PCR was undertaken for replication of copy number findings in an extended sample set of 1159 Māori and Pacific men and women (612 cases, 547 controls).

Results: There was relatively little mitochondrial genetic diversity, with around 96% of those sequenced in this study belonging to the B4a1a and derived sublineages. A B haplogroup heteroplasmy in hypervariable region I was found to associate with a higher risk of gout among the mitochondrial sequenced sample set (position 16181: OR=1.57, P0.001). Increased copies of mitochondrial DNA were found to protect against gout risk with the effect being consistent when using hyperuricaemic controls across each of the three independent sample sets (OR=0.89, P=0.007; OR=0.90, P=0.002; OR=0.76, P0.03). Paradoxically, an increase of mitochondrial DNA also associated with an increase in gout flare frequency in people with gout in the two larger sample sets used for the copy number analysis (β=0.003, P=7.1×10; β=0.08, P=1.2×10).

Conclusion: Association of reduced copy number with gout in hyperuricaemia was replicated over three Polynesian sample sets. Our data are consistent with emerging research showing that mitochondria are important for the colocalisation of the NLRP3 and ASC inflammasome subunits, a process essential for the generation of interleukin-1β in gout.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212416DOI Listing
April 2018

First complete mitochondrial genome data from ancient South American camelids - The mystery of the chilihueques from Isla Mocha (Chile).

Sci Rep 2016 12 8;6:38708. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, 270 Great King Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.

In South American societies, domesticated camelids were of great cultural importance and subject to trade and translocation. South American camelids were even found on remote and hard to reach islands, emphasizing their importance to historic and pre-historic South American populations. Isla Mocha, a volcanic island 35 km offshore of Central-South Chile, is an example of such an island. When Dutch and Spanish explorers reached the island in the early 17th century, they found that domesticated camelids called "chilihueque" played a major role in the island's society. The origin and taxonomy of these enigmatic camelids is unclear and controversial. This study aims to resolve this controversy through genetic analyses of Isla Mocha camelid remains dating from pre-Columbian to early historic times. A recent archaeological excavation of site P21-3 on Isla Mocha yielded a number of camelid remains. Three complete mitochondrial genomes were successfully recovered and analysed. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that "chilihueque" was a local term for a domesticated guanaco. Results from phylogeographic analyses are consistent with Isla Mocha camelids being sourced from Southern Chilean guanaco populations. Our data highlights the capability of ancient DNA to answer questions about extinct populations which includes species identity, potential translocation events and origins of founding individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep38708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5144146PMC
December 2016

A genomic history of Aboriginal Australia.

Nature 2016 Oct 21;538(7624):207-214. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.

The population history of Aboriginal Australians remains largely uncharacterized. Here we generate high-coverage genomes for 83 Aboriginal Australians (speakers of Pama-Nyungan languages) and 25 Papuans from the New Guinea Highlands. We find that Papuan and Aboriginal Australian ancestors diversified 25-40 thousand years ago (kya), suggesting pre-Holocene population structure in the ancient continent of Sahul (Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania). However, all of the studied Aboriginal Australians descend from a single founding population that differentiated ~10-32 kya. We infer a population expansion in northeast Australia during the Holocene epoch (past 10,000 years) associated with limited gene flow from this region to the rest of Australia, consistent with the spread of the Pama-Nyungan languages. We estimate that Aboriginal Australians and Papuans diverged from Eurasians 51-72 kya, following a single out-of-Africa dispersal, and subsequently admixed with archaic populations. Finally, we report evidence of selection in Aboriginal Australians potentially associated with living in the desert.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18299DOI Listing
October 2016

Human-mediated extirpation of the unique Chatham Islands sea lion and implications for the conservation management of remaining New Zealand sea lion populations.

Mol Ecol 2016 Aug 9;25(16):3950-61. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Department of Zoology, Allan Wilson Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

While terrestrial megafaunal extinctions have been well characterized worldwide, our understanding of declines in marine megafauna remains limited. Here, we use ancient DNA analyses of prehistoric (<1450-1650 AD) sea lion specimens from New Zealand's isolated Chatham Islands to assess the demographic impacts of human settlement. These data suggest there was a large population of sea lions, unique to the Chatham Islands, at the time of Polynesian settlement. This distinct mitochondrial lineage became rapidly extinct within 200 years due to overhunting, paralleling the extirpation of a similarly large endemic mainland population. Whole mitogenomic analyses confirm substantial intraspecific diversity among prehistoric lineages. Demographic models suggest that even low harvest rates would likely have driven rapid extinction of these lineages. This study indicates that surviving Phocarctos populations are remnants of a once diverse and widespread sea lion assemblage, highlighting dramatic human impacts on endemic marine biodiversity. Our findings also suggest that Phocarctos bycatch in commercial fisheries may contribute to the ongoing population decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13726DOI Listing
August 2016

A European Mitochondrial Haplotype Identified in Ancient Phoenician Remains from Carthage, North Africa.

PLoS One 2016 25;11(5):e0155046. Epub 2016 May 25.

School of Medicine, Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon.

While Phoenician culture and trade networks had a significant impact on Western civilizations, we know little about the Phoenicians themselves. In 1994, a Punic burial crypt was discovered on Byrsa Hill, near the entry to the National Museum of Carthage in Tunisia. Inside this crypt were the remains of a young man along with a range of burial goods, all dating to the late 6th century BCE. Here we describe the complete mitochondrial genome recovered from the Young Man of Byrsa and identify that he carried a rare European haplogroup, likely linking his maternal ancestry to Phoenician influenced locations somewhere on the North Mediterranean coast, the islands of the Mediterranean or the Iberian Peninsula. This result not only provides the first direct ancient DNA evidence of a Phoenician individual but the earliest evidence of a European mitochondrial haplogroup, U5b2c1, in North Africa.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155046PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880306PMC
July 2017

Tracking Austronesian expansion into the Pacific via the paper mulberry plant.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 Nov 23;112(44):13432-3. Epub 2015 Oct 23.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1518576112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4640783PMC
November 2015

Geographically contrasting biodiversity reductions in a widespread New Zealand seabird.

Mol Ecol 2015 Sep 31;24(18):4605-16. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

Allan Wilson Centre, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Unravelling prehistoric anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity represents a key challenge for biologists and archaeologists. New Zealand's endemic Stewart Island Shag (Leucocarbo chalconotus) comprises two distinct phylogeographic lineages, currently restricted to the country's south and southeast. However, fossil and archaeological remains suggest a far more widespread distribution at the time of Polynesian settlement ca. 1280 AD, encompassing much of coastal South Island. We used modern and ancient DNA, radiocarbon dating, and Bayesian modelling, to assess the impacts of human arrival on this taxon. Our analyses show that the southeast South Island (Otago) lineage was formerly widespread across coastal South Island, but experienced dramatic population extinctions, range retraction and lineage loss soon after human arrival. By comparison, the southernmost (Foveaux Strait) lineage has experienced a relatively stable demographic and biogeographic history since human arrival, retaining much of its mitochondrial diversity. Archaeological data suggest that these contrasting demographic histories (retraction vs. stability) reflect differential human impacts in mainland South Island vs. Foveaux Strait, highlighting the importance of testing for temporal and spatial variation in human-driven faunal declines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13338DOI Listing
September 2015

No evidence against Polynesian dispersal of chickens to pre-Columbian South America.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Sep 13;111(35):E3583. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1410780111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4156719PMC
September 2014

Extinction and recolonization of coastal megafauna following human arrival in New Zealand.

Proc Biol Sci 2014 Jul;281(1786)

Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.

Extinctions can dramatically reshape biological communities. As a case in point, ancient mass extinction events apparently facilitated dramatic new evolutionary radiations of surviving lineages. However, scientists have yet to fully understand the consequences of more recent biological upheaval, such as the megafaunal extinctions that occurred globally over the past 50 kyr. New Zealand was the world's last large landmass to be colonized by humans, and its exceptional archaeological record documents a vast number of vertebrate extinctions in the immediate aftermath of Polynesian arrival approximately AD 1280. This recently colonized archipelago thus presents an outstanding opportunity to test for rapid biological responses to extinction. Here, we use ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis to show that extinction of an endemic sea lion lineage (Phocarctos spp.) apparently facilitated a subsequent northward range expansion of a previously subantarctic-limited lineage. This finding parallels a similar extinction-replacement event in penguins (Megadyptes spp.). In both cases, an endemic mainland clade was completely eliminated soon after human arrival, and then replaced by a genetically divergent clade from the remote subantarctic region, all within the space of a few centuries. These data suggest that ecological and demographic processes can play a role in constraining lineage distributions, even for highly dispersive species, and highlight the potential for dynamic biological responses to extinction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046402PMC
July 2014

From cheek swabs to consensus sequences: an A to Z protocol for high-throughput DNA sequencing of complete human mitochondrial genomes.

BMC Genomics 2014 Jan 25;15:68. Epub 2014 Jan 25.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Background: Next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technologies have made huge impacts in many fields of biological research, but especially in evolutionary biology. One area where NGS has shown potential is for high-throughput sequencing of complete mtDNA genomes (of humans and other animals). Despite the increasing use of NGS technologies and a better appreciation of their importance in answering biological questions, there remain significant obstacles to the successful implementation of NGS-based projects, especially for new users.

Results: Here we present an 'A to Z' protocol for obtaining complete human mitochondrial (mtDNA) genomes - from DNA extraction to consensus sequence. Although designed for use on humans, this protocol could also be used to sequence small, organellar genomes from other species, and also nuclear loci. This protocol includes DNA extraction, PCR amplification, fragmentation of PCR products, barcoding of fragments, sequencing using the 454 GS FLX platform, and a complete bioinformatics pipeline (primer removal, reference-based mapping, output of coverage plots and SNP calling).

Conclusions: All steps in this protocol are designed to be straightforward to implement, especially for researchers who are undertaking next-generation sequencing for the first time. The molecular steps are scalable to large numbers (hundreds) of individuals and all steps post-DNA extraction can be carried out in 96-well plate format. Also, the protocol has been assembled so that individual 'modules' can be swapped out to suit available resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-15-68DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922791PMC
January 2014

The genetic diversity of the Nguni breed of African Cattle (Bos spp.): complete mitochondrial genomes of haplogroup T1.

PLoS One 2013 19;8(8):e71956. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand ; School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Gauteng Province, South Africa ; Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Domesticated cattle were commonplace in northern Africa by about 7,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence, however, suggests they were not established in southern Africa until much later, no earlier than 2,000 years ago. Genetic reconstructions have started to shed light on the movement of African cattle, but efforts have been frustrated by a lack of data south of Ethiopia and the nature of the mitochondrial haplogroup T1 which is almost fixed across the continent. We sequenced 35 complete mitochondrial genomes from a South African herd of Nguni cattle, a breed historically associated with Bantu speaking farmers who were among the first to bring cattle to southern Africa. As expected, all individuals in the study were found to be members of haplogroup T1. Only half of the sub-haplogroups of T1 (T1a-T1f) are represented in our sample and the overwhelming majority (94%) in this study belong to subhaplogroup T1b. A previous study of African cattle found frequencies of T1b of 27% in Egypt and 69% in Ethiopia. These results are consistent with serial multiple founder effects significantly shaping the gene pool as cattle were moved from north to south across the continent. Interestingly, these mitochondrial data give no indication that the impacts of the founder effects were ameliorated by gene flow from recently introduced Indian cattle breeds.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071956PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3747060PMC
April 2014

Complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequences from the first New Zealanders.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Nov 22;109(45):18350-4. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The dispersal of modern humans across the globe began ~65,000 y ago when people first left Africa and culminated with the settlement of East Polynesia, which occurred in the last 1,000 y. With the arrival of Polynesian canoes only 750 y ago, Aotearoa/New Zealand became the last major landmass to be permanently settled by humans. We present here complete mitochondrial genome sequences of the likely founding population of Aotearoa/New Zealand recovered from the archaeological site of Wairau Bar. These data represent complete mitochondrial genome sequences from ancient Polynesian voyagers and provide insights into the genetic diversity of human populations in the Pacific at the time of the settlement of East Polynesia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1209896109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3494939PMC
November 2012

Setting the stage - building and working in an ancient DNA laboratory.

Ann Anat 2012 Jan 31;194(1):3-6. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

With the introduction of next generation high throughput sequencing in 2005 and the resulting revolution in genetics, ancient DNA research has rapidly developed from an interesting but marginal field within evolutionary biology into one that can contribute significantly to our understanding of evolution in general and the development of our own species in particular. While the amount of sequence data available from ancient human, other animal and plant remains has increased dramatically over the past five years, some key limitations of ancient DNA research remain. Most notably, reduction of contamination and the authentication of results are of utmost importance. A number of studies have addressed different aspects of sampling, DNA extraction and DNA manipulation in order to establish protocols that most efficiently generate reproducible and authentic results. As increasing numbers of researchers from different backgrounds become interested in using ancient DNA technology to address key questions, the need for practical guidelines on how to construct and use an ancient DNA facility arises. The aim of this article is therefore to provide practical tips for building a state-of-the-art ancient DNA facility. It is intended to help researchers new to the field of ancient DNA research generally, and those considering the application of next generation sequencing, in their planning process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aanat.2011.03.008DOI Listing
January 2012

Radiocarbon and DNA evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007 Jun 7;104(25):10335-9. Epub 2007 Jun 7.

Department of Anthropology and Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

Two issues long debated among Pacific and American prehistorians are (i) whether there was a pre-Columbian introduction of chicken (Gallus gallus) to the Americas and (ii) whether Polynesian contact with South America might be identified archaeologically, through the recovery of remains of unquestionable Polynesian origin. We present a radiocarbon date and an ancient DNA sequence from a single chicken bone recovered from the archaeological site of El Arenal-1, on the Arauco Peninsula, Chile. These results not only provide firm evidence for the pre-Columbian introduction of chickens to the Americas, but strongly suggest that it was a Polynesian introduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0703993104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1965514PMC
June 2007