Time and biosequences: a contribution to the origin of modern man
- Cite this article as:
- Saccone, C., Pesole, G., Sbisà, E. et al. Hum. Evol. (1992) 7: 37. doi:10.1007/BF02437452
The origin of modern man is still a highly debated problem. The new contributions of molecular biologists to paleontological data are numerous but discordant as these data obtained with biosequences are based on different methodologies.
In order to obtain a more accurate measure of the genetic distance between extant humans and thus the deepest root of the human tree, we have reanalyzed the sequences of the regulatory region of mitochondrial DNA (D-loop) by using an improved version of the Markov Clock model devised in our laboratory.
Our analysis, as well as other studies, supports the African origin of modern man. However the quantitative estimate of mtDNA evolution carried out with the corrected Markov Clock model pushes back irradiation time from Africa to 400±100 Kya.
Thus according to our model there would be a genetic continuity betweenHomo erectus andHomo sapiens, who would therefore be the result of regional evolution differentiating himself under appropriate environmental pressures.