| Meiotic genes are enriched in regions of reduced archaic ancestry

Meiotic genes are enriched in regions of reduced archaic ancestry. Jégou B, Sankararaman S, Rolland AD, Reich D, Chalmel F. Mol Biol Evol. 2017 

About 1-6% of the genetic ancestry of modern humans today originates from admixture with archaic humans. It has recently been shown that autosomal genomic regions with a reduced proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestries are significantly enriched in genes that are more expressed in testis than in other tissues. To determine whether a cellular segregation pattern would exist, we combined maps of archaic introgression with a cross-analysis of three transcriptomic datasets deciphering the transcriptional landscape of human gonadal cell types. We reveal that the regions deficient in both Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestries contain a significant enrichment of genes transcribed in meiotic germ cells. The interbreeding of anatomically modern humans with archaic humans may have introduced archaic-derived alleles that contributed to genetic incompatibilities affecting meiosis that were subsequently purged by natural selection.