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Pakendorf, Brigitte

Grant Type: 
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Max Planck Institute
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
April 10, 2012
Project Title: 
Pakendorf, Dr. Brigitte, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany - To aid research on 'Investigating the Prehistory of 'Khoisan'-speaking Hunter-gatherers from Southern Africa with Large-scale Y-chromosome Sequences'

DR. BRIGITTE PAKENDORF, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Investigating the Prehistory of 'Khoisan'-speaking Hunter-gatherers from Southern Africa with Large-scale Y-chromosome Sequences.' This project is investigating the paternal prehistory of so-called Khoisan and Bantu-speaking populations from southern Africa, where 'Khoisan' designates people speaking non-Bantu languages with click consonants irrespective of their extreme linguistic, cultural, and genetic diversity. To achieve this goal, large stretches of the Y chromosome, which is inherited solely in the paternal line, were sequenced in order to elucidate the genetic relationships and possible contact among these populations. The results of the study demonstrate that the prehistory of these peoples was highly complex. First of all, three different streams of paternal lineages are present in the Khoisan populations: they are characterized by high frequencies of ancient lineages, but there is also evidence of later intermarriage in the paternal line with presumably Bantu-speaking immigrants who brought specific Y-chromosomal lineages with them; a third group of lineages, which is absent from the peoples of southern Africa speaking Bantu languages, shows a potential link with eastern Africa. Furthermore, there is evidence in the ancient lineages that some Khoisan populations have been relatively isolated, while others are likely to have been in such intense contact as to have switched to a different language than the one they spoke originally.