Genome-wide study of a Neolithic Wartberg grave community reveals distinct HLA variation and hunter-gatherer ancestry.

Alexander Immel, Federica Pierini, Christoph Rinne, John Meadows, Rodrigo Barquera, András Szolek, Julian Susat, Lisa Böhme, Janina Dose, Joanna Bonczarowska, Clara Drummer, Katharina Fuchs, David Ellinghaus, Jan Christian Kässens, Martin Furholt, Oliver Kohlbacher, Sabine Schade-Lindig, Andre Franke, Stefan Schreiber, Johannes Krause, Johannes Müller, Tobias L Lenz, Almut Nebel, Ben Krause-Kyora
Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
Commun Biol
Journal title long:
Communications biology
The Wartberg culture (WBC, 3500-2800 BCE) dates to the Late Neolithic period, a time of important demographic and cultural transformations in western Europe. We performed genome-wide analyses of 42 individuals who were interred in a WBC collective burial in Niedertiefenbach, Germany (3300-3200 cal. BCE). The results showed that the farming population of Niedertiefenbach carried a surprisingly large hunter-gatherer ancestry component (34-58%). This component was most likely introduced during the cultural transformation that led to the WBC. In addition, the Niedertiefenbach individuals exhibited a distinct human leukocyte antigen gene pool, possibly reflecting an immune response that was geared towards detecting viral infections.