News Release

Australasian genetic signal extends across South America

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Pacific and Amazonian natives from South America share Australasian ancestry, according to a study. Past studies have demonstrated genetic affinity between natives from South America and present-day indigenous groups of South Asia, Australia, and Melanesia. However, this genetic connection between Native Americans and Australasians remains poorly understood. Tábita Hu?nemeier and colleagues analyzed a comprehensive genomic dataset from South American populations, including 383 individuals and 438,443 genetic markers. The results revealed that the Australasian genetic signal, previously thought to be confined to Amazonian groups, is also present in populations in the Pacific Coast region. The findings suggest that the Australasian genetic signal is more extensive in South America than prior reports suggested and that there may have been ancient contact between Pacific and Amazonian populations. Moreover, at least two migratory waves are required to account for the present-day genetic diversity of Central and South American populations. The Australasian contribution was likely introduced in South America through the Pacific Coastal route before the Amazonian branch formed. According to the authors, the study sheds light on the shared genetic ancestry of the early dwellers of South America.

Article #20-25739: "Deep genetic affinity between coastal Pacific and Amazonian natives evidenced by Australasian ancestry" by Marcos Araújo Castro e Silva, Tiago Ferraz, et al.,

MEDIA CONTACT: Tábita Hunemeier, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, BRAZIL; email:


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