Human Biology Open Access Pre-Prints

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Ancient DNA studies have always refreshed our understanding of the human past that can’t be tracked by modern DNA alone. Until recently, ancient mitochondrial genomic studies in East Asia are still very limited. Here, we retrieved the whole mitochondrial genome of an 8,400-year- old individual from Inner Mongolia, China. Phylogenetic analyses show that the individual belongs to a previously undescribed clade under haplogroup C5d that was most probably originated in northern Asia and may have a very low frequency in extant populations that is not yet sampled. We further characterized the demographic history of mitochondrial haplogroups C5 and C5d, and found that C5 experienced a sharp increase in population size starting from around 4,000 years before present (BP). The time when intensive millet farming was built by populations who are associated with the lower Xiajiadian culture and was widely adopted in northern China. We caution that people related to haplogroup C5 may added this farming technology to their original way of life and that the various subsistence may provide abundant food sources and may further contribute to the increase of the population size.