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  • 1. Hünemeier, Tábita
    et al.
    Gómez-Valdés, Jorge
    Ballesteros-Romero, Mónica
    de Azevedo, Soledad
    Martínez-Abadías, Neus
    Esparza, Mireia
    Sjøvold, Torstein
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Osteology Unit.
    Bonatto, Sandro L.
    Salzano, Francisco Mauro
    Bortolini, Maria Cátira
    González-José, Rolando
    Cultural diversification promotes rapid phenotypic evolution in Xavante Indians2012In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 109, no 1, p. 73-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Shifts in social structure and cultural practices can potentially promote unusual combinations of allele frequencies that drive the evolution of genetic and phenotypic novelties during human evolution. These cultural practices act in combination with geographical and linguistic barriers and can promote faster evolutionary changes shaped by gene-culture interactions. However, specific cases indicative of this interaction are scarce. Here we show that quantitative genetic parameters obtained from cephalometric data taken on 1,203 individuals analyzed in combination with genetic, climatic, social, and life-history data belonging to six South Amerindian populations are compatible with a scenario of rapid genetic and phenotypic evolution, probably mediated by cultural shifts. We found that the Xavante experienced a remarkable pace of evolution: the rate of morphological change is far greater than expected for its time of split from their sister group, the Kayapo, which occurred around 1,500 y ago. We also suggest that this rapid differentiation was possible because of strong social-organization differences. Our results demonstrate how human groups deriving from a recent common ancestor can experience variable paces of phenotypic divergence, probably as a response to different cultural or social determinants. We suggest that assembling composite databases involving cultural and biological data will be of key importance to unravel cases of evolution modulated by the cultural environment.

  • 2. Martínez-Abadías, Neus
    et al.
    Esparza, Mireia
    Sjøvold, Torstein
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Osteology Unit.
    González-José, Rolando
    Santos, Mauro
    Hernández, Miquel
    Klingenberg, Christian Peter
    PERVASIVE GENETIC INTEGRATION DIRECTS THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN SKULL SHAPE2012In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 66, no 4, p. 1010-1023Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has long been unclear whether the different derived cranial traits of modern humans evolved independently in response to separate selection pressures or whether they resulted from the inherent morphological integration throughout the skull. In a novel approach to this issue, we combine evolutionary quantitative genetics and geometric morphometrics to analyze genetic and phenotypic integration in human skull shape. We measured human skulls in the ossuary of Hallstatt (Austria), which offer a unique opportunity because they are associated with genealogical data. Our results indicate pronounced covariation of traits throughout the skull. Separate simulations of selection for localized shape changes corresponding to some of the principal derived characters of modern human skulls produced outcomes that were similar to each other and involved a joint response in all of these traits. The data for both genetic and phenotypic shape variation were not consistent with the hypothesis that the face, cranial base, and cranial vault are completely independent modules but relatively strongly integrated structures. These results indicate pervasive integration in the human skull and suggest a reinterpretation of the selective scenario for human evolution where the origin of any one of the derived characters may have facilitated the evolution of the others.

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