Reconstructing ancient migration paths from mitochondrial genomes



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This bachelor’s thesis aims to identify the timings and trajectories of major pre-historic population movements. The ancient mitochondrial genomes from Allen Ancient DNA Resource are used to construct the phylogenetic relationships with the help of the BEAST software. The first chapter gives the theoretical background for phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA genome sequences. The second chapter introduces the chosen model with its parameters, the Ancestral Trails Framework principles, and the data preparation for the phylogenetic analysis. The third chapter presents the analysis results performed on the mitochondrial data and models constructed with Ancestral Trails Framework. The author manages to assemble a large dataset with mitochondrial sequences ranging from ancient to present-day samples and estimate the phylogenetic relationships and divergence times between them. The analysis concluded that it is possible to detect ancient migration events and their directions. However, due to the analysed sample’s limitations, the human groups’ exact timings of splits are uncertain.



Bayesi statistika, Markovi mudelid, migratsioon, mitokondriaalsed genoomid, mitochondrial genomes, migrations, Markov models, Bayesian statistics